The investigation into the “dark web” drugs marketplace the Silk Road is deeply fascinating on several levels. For instance, the details of how FBI investigators tracked down one of its founders.
Even the most technically literate, security aware, necessarily paranoid individuals can apparently fall foul of investigators looking for traces of their web shadow – or digital shadow as this BBC article calls it…
In the months leading up to Mr Ulbricht’s arrest, investigators undertook a painstaking process of piecing together the suspect’s digital footprint, going back years into his history of communicating with others online.
This guy was using Tor (and encrypted way of browsing the web), internet cafés and false identities trying to cover his tracks – but even a few mistakes left traces allowed investigators to track him down.