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Interview with Dread Pirate Robert's mother - Silk Road


I debated putting this in this thread: Interview With "The Dread Pirate Roberts" of The Silk Road, but figured that the issue deserves its own title and thread.

Issue: Can a web site owner be put in prison for something that somebody else posts on the web site owner's site?

Here's an interview with Ross Ulbricht's mother, Lyn Ulbricht.

At the beginning, Alex talks about related issues he's personally encountered (6:00~6:20 contains a tl;dr). Interview starts at about 6:20:

tl;dr - This fight is about the transfer of intent, e.g. I post something potentially illegal on your site, then you get charged for it. Good discussion there though, and worth a listen.

The interview is very good. Lyn gets to talk a lot about the trial and what is going on. She talks about the underlying issues and some of what they are doing with the lawyers.

Here's the site to free Ross:

Roger Ver has helped the effort incredibly:

I posted about that here:

Here's an example of a list of URLs that are illegal in Germany. (I've broken the URL so that it doesn't link.)

http : // web . archive . org / web / 20140707204711 / https : // bpjmleak . neocities . org /

Here's a brief quote from that page (no URLs - only commentary - much is highly technical):

In spoiler because it's a bit long - cut to avoid any URLsFound German secret Internet censorship list as hashes and recovered >99% of the URLs.
tl;dr: Germany has a censorship federal agency called BPjM which maintains a secret list of about 3000 URLs. To keep the list secret it is distributed in the form of md5 or sha1 hashes as the "BPJM-Modul". They think this is safe. This leak explains in detail that it is in fact very easy to extract the hashed censorship list from home routers or child protection software and calculate the cleartext entries. It provides a first analysis of the sometimes absurd entries on such a governmental Internet censorship list.
Introduction to the BPjM

The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (German: "Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien" or BPjM) is an upper-level German federal agency subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It is responsible for examining media works allegedly harmful to young people and entering these onto an official list – a process known as Indizierung (indexing) in German. The decision to index a work has a variety of legal implications. [...] Germany is the only western democracy with an organization like the BPjM. The rationales for earlier decisions to add works to the index are, in retrospect, incomprehensible reactions to moral panics.
Quote by Wikipedia
The censorship list ("index") is split into various sublists:
Sublist A: Works that are harmful to young people
Sublist B: Works whose distribution is prohibited under the Strafgesetzbuch (German Criminal Code) (in the opinion of the BPjM)
Sublist E: Entries prior to April 1, 2003
Sublist C: All indexed virtual works harmful to young people whose distribution is prohibited under Article 4 of the Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag
Sublist D: All indexed virtual works, which potentially have content whose distribution is prohibited under the Strafgesetzbuch.
The sublists A, B and E contain about 3000 movies, 400 games, 900 printed works and 400 audio recordings. That sublists are quarterly published in the magazine "BPjM-aktuell" which can be read in any major library in Germany.

The sublists C and D were as well published in BPjS-aktuell (now BPjM-aktuell) up to edition 2003-01.
Since then the list of indexed virtual media is considered secret. As of July 2014 it contains more than 3000 URLs.

In order to make use of a secret censoring list the BPjM offers the "BPjM-Modul", which is a list of cryptographic hashes representing the censored URLs. The list is distributed about once per month to more than 27 companies who offer child protection software or DSL/Cable routers (for example AVM FRITZ!Box Router, Draytek Vigor Router, Telekom Kinderschutz Software, Salfeld Kindersicherung and Cybits JusProg and Surfsitter). This companies usually implement the blocklist as opt-in – users have to enable it by choice to filter the websites. Additionally, the major search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo agreed to filter their results in Germany based on the list. They can download the (cleartext) list from a server of the FSM (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter e. V.). In comparison to the opt-in approach by the router manufacturers the search engines filter all results served to German users, it is not possible to opt-out.

In 2011, "porno lawyer" Marko Dörre requested access to the list in order to do his work. This was denied two years later in curt decision VG Köln, 2013-07-04 – 13 K 7107/11 stating publication of the list could harm public safety. The curt further justifies its decision by stating that there are agreements with the 27 companies which have access to the hashed blacklist in place to ensure the list stays secret. This methods could be considered safe as there is no unauthorized use of the module data known since its creation in 2005.

This leak proves that the BPjM-Modul is not a secure way to distribute a secret Internet censorship list. It is not difficult at all to extract the list from different sources and calculate the cleartext URLs of the hashes. It proves as well that secret Internet censorship lists are of bad quality, with many outdated and absurd entries harming legitimate businesses.
BPjM-Modul implementations

I wouldn't recommend visiting any of those URLs though. Actually, I would strongly recommend against it.

The URL may have been changed if the Wayback Machine buckles to censorship.

But, if you posted those URLs to a site, you might be endangering the site owner. Or, that's what the issue behind this case is.

Check out for more information on the issue.

This matters.

Does sound pretty scary :tellme:

Lyn Ulbricht comes across as very intelligent - I was trying to find a better interview, but the couple of others I found were much worse (and this one isn't great).

Another interview by one of my favourite hosts (who a lot of people will hate):


It doesn't matter if you like Jeff Berwick or not. The issue is the issue.

Another interview with Lyn Ulbricht by Nick Gillespie.

"I am fighting for my son," says Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of 30-year-old Ross Ulbricht, who faces life in prison as the alleged creator and operator of "Silk Road," an illicit online marketplace that was shut down by the feds last year. "But [this fight] is bigger than Ross, and I think one website is far less dangerous than the government trampling on our rule of law and the consitution."

Ulbricht sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to talk about why she believes the government's case against Ross broadly violates his constitutional rights and threatens online freedom.

For more on Ross Ulbricht and the government's case against Silk Road, read Brian Doherty's feature story in the December 2014 issue of Reason magazine, "How Buying Drugs Online Became Safe, Easy, and Boring:"
--- End quote ---

Unfortunately, he won't get a fair trial. The judge in his trial has stopped him from launching a defense. It's just a kangaroo court now.

Lyn Ulbricht talks about the murder-for-hire allegations of Ross:

In other news, why is the cert for showing errors?


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