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Silk Road is resurrected with a new Dread Pirate Roberts

Deja vu? A new online drug marketplace appears as Silk Road 2.0 with an operator using the same pseudonym as the original site's alleged operator.

The Silk Road 2.0 login page taunts law enforcement by copying the seizure notice typically used by the FBI.
Screenshot by All Things Vice

Buying illegal drugs on the Internet may be making a comeback. It's been a month since the FBI shuttered the online black market Silk Road, but it appears a clone has risen in its stead.

Silk Road 2.0 opened for business on Wednesday, according to dark-Web-focused site All Things Vice. Simultaneously, Twitter user Dread Pirate Roberts, which is allegedly the same moniker as the original Silk Road operator, tweeted the announcement of the new drug marketplace.

"#SilkRoad is back up. Deja vu anyone? #weriseagain," Dread Pirate Roberts tweeted.

Throughout the day, Dread Pirate Roberts continued to tweet about the site's traffic and methodology. "Over 1,100 per second now coming to #SilkRoad" Dread Pirate Roberts wrote, along with "#SilkRoad while under my watch will never harm a soul. If we did, then we are no better than the thugs on the street."

The original Silk Road was an online drug marketplace where its nearly 100,000 anonymous users could buy and sell all sorts of drugs using the secure Tor browser. The purchases were typically made with the virtual currency Bitcoin, and sales are said to have totaled more than $1 billion.

Last month, the FBI seized Silk Road and indicted Ross Ulbricht, 29, who allegedly operated the site. The FBI replaced the site with a seizure notice. Ulbricht faces charges of computer hacking conspiracy, narcotics trafficking conspiracy, and money laundering. According to The Verge, Ulbricht arrived in New York on Wednesday for a court hearing regarding these charges.

Since Ulbricht's indictment, eight people in three countries have also been arrested in association with Silk Road. Authorities claim all these people were dealing drugs on the site.

It appears that Silk Road 2.0 also uses a secure Tor browser and that the site's operator may have amped up security. In a tweet, the new Dread Pirate Roberts wrote, "Security: 11,000 probes in 12 hours - 0 successful."