On Wednesday, July 17, the United States finally put away Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, for good. The drug kingpin had an extensive criminal history, with convictions ranging from mass distribution of cocaine to conspiracy to murder 26 people and groups. Since a judge found him guilty in February, he has been in detention in Manhattan. At the hearing, he complained about the inhumane treatment that the feds gave him while awaiting his grim fate. He specifically noted that he was “denied access to air and sunlight and was “forced to drink unsanitary water”. But compared to the peaceful libertarian entrepreneur and Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht, El Chapo got off easy.
October 1, 2018, marked five years since I was imprisoned. My physical surroundings today are ironically similar to what they were after my arrest back in 2013. I’m in the SHU again (Special Housing Unit, aka “the hole”). It means permanent lockdown, separated from the general prison population, in a small cell.
2) Ross Ulbricht
By creating Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht was actually following in the footsteps of Satoshi; his online, private, secure black market exclusively accepted Bitcoin as a means of payment for years after its launch. Silk Road was an e-commerce platform like Amazon or Craigslist but placed a heavy emphasis on privacy and security.
The Chinese trojan horse also known as the Chinese Silk Road has landed in Italy. It has since sparked controversy inside and outside the Mediterranean country. The “New Silk Road” is the term for a trade corridor Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed in 2013. The grand design also goes by the name of The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); it is a “belt” of overland corridors and a “road” of shipping lanes.
Ross Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts went to prison for life so you could learn a lesson. Toe the line, stay free. Dare to take firm action against the government, and you’ll end up like him. The alleged operator of the Silk Road, an unregulated dark web retail site that predominantly sold personal amounts of marijuana, received a double life sentence plus 40 years for his actions.
This comes in spite of the fact that none of his crimes were violent, he has no convictions of actually selling illicit substances, and the trial violated his constitutional rights in several important and unfair ways. But on Friday, more direct proof of the unfairness came to light; the owner of Silk Road 2.0, Dread Pirate Roberts 2, received a 5-year sentence for far worse crimes.