This episode features a conversation with Nick Bilton, author of American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road. His book, out today in paperback, tells the story of Ross Ulbricht, the libertarian who created the hidden Tor site known as the Silk Road and rode it to massive wealth, great temptation, and, finally, a life sentence. It’s a fine read in its own right, but for those who know the federal government, the most entertaining parts concern the investigators who brought Ulbricht down. Each one has ambitions and flaws that mirror the stereotypes of their agencies, even – or perhaps especially – when the agents go bad. It’s got everything: sales of body parts, murder (maybe!), rogue cops, turf fights, and justice in the end.
Sadly, I predict this episode will generate more hate mail than any other. Why? You’ll have to listen to find out.
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