Fascinating read from arstechnica about how the Feds arrested Dread Pirate Robers (operator of Silk Road illegal drug trading website) http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/how-the-feds-took-down-the-dread-pirate-roberts/

My question related to Tor anonymity. Why do you speculate he felt the need to use internet access at a library instead of at his own home?d

  • Your question could be possibly closed for being primarily opinion-based. I would recommend you reformulating the question. For example: "What could have been the reasons ... for using internet access at a library ..." because there could objective reasons. Maybe even better could be to make the question more general and showing the case of Dread Pirate Roberts / Ross William Ulbricht just as an example. Feb 6, 2014 at 17:04

2 Answers 2


I guess DPR tried to maintain a good level of operational security (OPSEC). With that in mind one should have several layers of security. First might be not to use his home network. So in case someone has a method to break Tor, the attacker gets to know the original IP. If DPR sits in some internet cafe or uses public Wifi, it is hard to trace those actions back to him.

  • I can see it now. Little kids running around while DPR admin's SR. Sitting in an internet cafe with a camera trying to avoid people seeing his screen while he admin SR over Tor. If feds suspected him these would be the exact spots to place an adversary to snoop without a warrant. Kinda gets around the idea of it being opsec. He might just have thought it was a good idea at the time but if it were opsec he was looking for and being a potential suspect it would be pretty stupid.
    – user5341
    Jan 11, 2015 at 2:23

Question is not definitely resolvable as you'll need to ask him. But I think that he was doing several things at the same time, only several of them through Tor.

Or maybe that he just felt more secure that way.

In any case, from what is public info we can not deduce that Tor anonimity was compromised.

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