Molotov Seminar 70 · United States vs the Dark Market Founder

In this rare Molotov SeminarLyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, double-life-sentenced founder of dark web market Silk Road, will share the story of her son's arrest and trial,  and how it impacts us all.


In 2011 UT Dallas physics graduate Ross Ulbricht founded Silk Road, a dark web market that ran on anonymizer networks and bitcoin transactions, where people could anonymously buy and sell goods and services, both legal and illegal. Forbidden were items that used force or were not voluntary, such as child porn, violent services and stolen property.

In 2013 Ross was arrested by the FBI in a San Francisco library. Charges, which were all non-violent, included money laundering, computer hacking, trafficking narcotics, and money laundering.  Ross is currently serving a double life sentence plus 40 years.

But lingering questions remain. Did the state violate constitutional rights in the arrest and trial? Why were defense witnesses prevented from testifying, and defense cross-examination blocked? Did the state tamper with evidence? How was there a log-in from the Silk Road founder's account after the arrest?

And how can friends and family reconcile Ross' image of an intelligent, thoughtful and charitable idealist with a criminal mastermind? What really was Ross' intention behind Silk Road?

Ross' mother Lyn will share the the story of her son and how it impacts us all in this Molotov Seminar.


Correction: The previous post of this event stated that Silk Road sold child porn and hit men. This is untrue. Neither of these were ever alleged by the government.

Molotov Seminar hosts talks at UT by anyone, for anyone, on any topic. Add Molotov Seminar on facebook to get event invites; message to give a talk. Or sign up here.

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:00pm

Robert Lee Moore Hall (RLM), 4.102
2515 SPEEDWAY , Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type

Policy & Law, Science & Tech, Diversity & Social Justice


School of Law, All Departments

Target Audience

Students, General Public

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Daniel R Dewitte

Daniel R Dewitte left a positive review 2/22/2018

Excellent. Incredibly interesting.