Every recreational drug user knows that the worst part of drugs is getting them: there's the awkward propositioning, the even more awkward transaction, and then the silent, burning hatred once your E turns out to be Tylenol. Thankfully, there's Silk Road, a highly-protected web site where you can buy 340 varieties of illegal drugs over the internet.
The site uses an innovative and untraceable digital currency ("Bitcoins") and relies on a user-feedback system not unlike eBay's. Suppliers offer their wares and purchasers buy them. It's like buying a used book on Amazon, except it comes with a smattering of cyberpunk, anti-government sentiment.
"The state is the primary source of violence, oppression, theft and all forms of coercion," Silk Road wrote to Gawker. "Stop funding the state with your tax dollars and direct your productive energies into the black market."
I suppose that it was only a matter of time before something like this popped up, but I wonder how long it's going to last. Internet notoriety can be a very unforgiving thing (right, Julian Assange?) and this sort of thing seems like it has a giant bullseye digitally painted on it.
Then again, crime usually moves faster than law — 4Chan seems to be going strong, despite repeated attacks by its users on various groups. If the government won't (or can't) take them down, who's to say that a relatively benign online drug market should be made example of?
Besides, if you believe the government's hype about the Drug War, it's about stopping violence (as opposed to the reality, that it's about stopping the trafficking of things that aren't taxed). So what incentive would they have to prosecute a site that removes all violent middlemen and puts the drugs directly in the hands of the people who want them?