12” x 20” x 1” Purple Heart edging with maple center panel and splines. Slotted bottom for paper storage.
Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs. As part of the dark web, it was operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users were able to browse it anonymously and securely without potential traffic monitoring. The website was launched in February 2011; development had begun six months prior. Initially there were a limited number of new seller accounts available; new sellers had to purchase an account in an auction. Later, a fixed fee was charged for each new seller account.
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Silk Road emerged as the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet at the time, serving as a sprawling black market bazaar where unlawful goods and services, including illegal drugs of virtually all varieties, were bought and sold regularly by the site’s users. While in operation, Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services to well over 100,000 buyers, and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars deriving from these unlawful transactions."
In October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shut down the website and arrested Ross Ulbrichtunder charges of being the site's pseudonymous founder "Dread Pirate Roberts". On 6 November 2013, Silk Road 2.0 came online, run by former administrators of Silk Road. It was also shut down, and the alleged operator was arrested on 6 November 2014 as part of the so-called "Operation Onymous". Ulbricht was convicted of seven charges related to Silk Road in the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.