– Welcome to the Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview with Dread Pirate Roberts (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 15, 2013):
An entrepreneur as professionally careful as the Dread Pirate Roberts doesn’t trust instant messaging services. Forget phones or Skype. At one point during our eight-month preinterview courtship, I offer to meet him at an undisclosed location outside the United States. “Meeting in person is out of the question,” he says. “I don’t meet in person even with my closest advisors.” When I ask for his name and nationality, he’s so spooked that he refuses to answer any other questions and we lose contact for a month.All my communications with Roberts are routed exclusively through the messaging system and forums of the website he owns and manages, the Silk Road… “The highest levels of government are hunting me,” says Roberts. “I can’t take any chances.”
– From Forbes’ recent article on the Silk Road
Most of my readers have probably heard of the Silk Road. No, not the historical trade routes that linked Europe to Asia, but rather the online illegal drug marketplace accessible only via anonymity browsing software Tor, and where the only currency accepted is Bitcoin.
Those of you who have heard about it, probably know far less about the man that runs it. A character who only goes by the name Dread Pirate Roberts. He’s a character who usually stays firmly in the shadows for obvious reasons, but who has come out and done an excellent interview with Andy Greenberg of Forbes. What follows are some of the more interesting exchanges.