Shadowy drug fans threaten FBI agents, vow to 'avenge' Silk Road shutdown
How dare lawmen close our illegal underground online drug shop?
Dark web hoodlums linked to the underground drugs bazaar Silk Road are preparing to launch revenge attacks on the FBI agents involved in the shutdown of the site.
Using hidden forums which are only accessible using Tor, the individuals have been sharing the names and addresses of key figures in the Silk Road bust.
Although the rabid activists have stopped short of calling for violent attacks on the FBI, they discussed carrying out a campaign of fear aimed at making Feds "think twice" before targeting any anonymous drugs market in future.
A thread called "crowdsource this: let's find out where Special Agent Christopher Tarbell lives" on the widely used Silk Road forum has now been deleted by admins trying to rein in the more extreme elements of the secretive community.
On this thread, the home address of Special Agent Tarbell was posted along with calls for other agents to be exposed and targeted.
Certain Silk Road users called for the "doxxing" of anyone involved in the bust, using a phrase invented by Anonymous members of the controversial 4Chan community. Doxxing involves finding and releasing personal details of a target, such as their real name and address.
A user called MendoHashMan wrote: "I think there should be a public list of all agents involved, names, addresses, pictures, family info, just make it known that we know. Make them look over their shoulder and worry about who is watching them! No violence needed, just constant fear!"
Another individual using the handle CodoneCowboy, added: "Exposing personal information... has been an effective tactic for groups like Anonymous and might make agents think twice before infiltrating groups that cause no societal harm.
"I disagree with the notion that we would be 'stooping to their level,' any more than punching back when someone is beating you up is 'stooping to their level'. They've declared war on us in their own words, with terms like 'War on Drugs'. Self defense is a human right."
However, many other Silk Road users responded that it was wrong to launch revenge attacks on the cops or government and counselled against direct action.
Silk Road moderator Cirrus wrote: "We must stand on the shoulders of this tragedy that has befallen us and raise high what still remains - our sense of community, freedom and justice. No doubt we will all regroup elsewhere, and I look forward to seeing all of you again, still free and still engaging in free trade without government interference into your personal affairs.
"This is who we are and we are better than a mob of vigilantes. Most of you are aware of this and realize how much bigger all this site was than just a place to buy drugs. Until this site breathes no more I'm going to make sure we remain true to what we stood for."
A user called IForgotMyFuckingPassport then added: "Why do I feel like I'm the only one who agrees with this? Turning to violence will only hurt the progress that's been made here. It gives the public a way to dismiss us as nothing more than mobsters and common criminals."
The FBI's Christoper Tarbell has been described as "The Elliot Ness" of cyberspace. Forum users have posted his details along with calls for other agents to be exposed and targeted.
The person who styled themselves as "Dread Pirate Roberts" has also been subject to threats by former Silk Roaders, who think the website boss put dealers at risk by apparently failing to take sufficient security precautions.
Federal agents have a suspect in custody, a man called Ross William Ulbricht, whom they allege to be Dread Pirate Roberts. He stands accused (PDF) of ordering the killing of two people, among other charges. Ulbricht has denied all of the charges against him. ®