Review: Silk Road Brings to Screen a Look at the Beginning and the End of the First Modern Darknet Market

Review: Silk Road Brings to Screen a Look at the Beginning and the End of the First Modern Darknet Market
A narration opens Tiller Russell’s Silk Road. A young man in a hoody, shades, and flip-flops walks San Francisco’s streets and discusses the barriers between the world as it is and the world that he wants. The world he wants is one of total autonomy and freedom from government control. “Every action we take outside government control strengthens the market and weakens the state,” he says. As a result, and as a way to “take back our liberty,” he creates Silk Road, a website where anyone can buy and sell anything anonymously. The film follows a naive, bright-eyed libertarian and the creation of the biggest online marketplace of illegal goods, the notorious criminal named Dread Pirate Roberts he becomes, and the subsequent investigation by law enforcement that follows. As David Kushner writes in the Rolling Stone article the film is based on, Silk Road “made Ross Ulbricht one
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