Utopia, a site similar to Silk Road, has been shut down after 9 days of operation, by the Dutch National Police. Considering that it was to be a competitor to the Silk Road, driving prices and a healthy (if somewhat sketchy) economy, this is quite a blow.
The real importance of this story, in my opinion, is that it highlights just how ineffective the NSA is in comparison. Known worldwide for spying on it’s citizens, the NSA has claimed that it does so in order to protect them. However, not only did they fail to shut down the Silk Road until over two years of operation, they also failed to keep it down for more than a month or so. Given the reputation they have, it is outright unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the Dutch National Police, who are not really world renowned for dubious activities concerning spying on those they claim to protect, managed to shut down a similar site in a minuscule fraction of the time it took the NSA to deal with the Silk Road. While it has yet to been seen just how long it will stay down, users of Utopia have migrated to the Silk Road forum to discuss what steps to take.
It’s worth pointing out that now the NSA’s incompetency has not only meant that they failed to accomplish anything significant, but they are also making things harder for those who have managed to do things successfully.
Stuckey, Daniel. “Slashdot” Utopia, Silk Road’s Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days. Slashdot, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. http://yro-beta.slashdot.org/story/14/02/12/2157234/utopia-silk-roads-latest-replacement-only-lasted-nine-days