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By John Bush
Day three of Silk Road trial began with the final round of the State's direct examination of DHSI Special Agent Deryeghiayan spent a great deal of time explaining how PGP signatures, an encryption method that allows users to verify the authenticity of a message, were used by Dread Pirate Roberts since he first appeared on Silk Road until the Silk Road was shut down in 2013. The state was attempting to show the continuity of DPR's administration of the marketplace.
The prosecution went on to finish the narrative of Ulbricht's arrest including showing images from his seized computer that shows he was logged in to backend of Silk Road site under section titled mastermind. Screenshots also showed Ulbricht's computer had an open chat with Cirrius, the Silk Road administrator that was controlled by agent Deryeghiayan Additionally, and perhaps most damning, were screenshots of crumpled up pieces of paper found in Ulbricht's bedroom apartment that had notes about Silk Road commission changes that matched forum posts written by Dread Pirate Roberts in the months leading up to Ulbricht's arrest.
After the State passed the witness, the defense began cross examination by demonstrating through his questioning that the private key for a PGP signature can be passed on from person to person or even multiple people could use the same private key at the same time. At this point, there were jurors who were visibly more interested and one who began smiling. It appears his effort to raise doubt in the jury's mind is having an effect.
The Defense also spent a considerable amount of time explaining the positive side of Bitcoin and TOR, stating TOR was created by The US Navy and has legitimate functions such as allowing consumers to avoid advertisers gathering personal data and allowing Chinese nationals to overcome government censorship.
Finally, before lunch, the defense asked questions of Deryeghiayan to demonstrate to the jury that he had no knowledge of the Silk Road before he began his investigation in 2012. This is designed to play in to the defense's narrative that while Ulbricht in fact created silk road, he passed on management shortly after when he felt it was becoming too stressful.
How the defense will address Ulbricht's computer being logged in to the Silk Road "mastermind" page and chat and why he was supposedly in possession of the crumpled pieces of paper with notes about Silk Road remains to be seen.
Follow for updates throughout the trial here.
John has been posting interviews and updates from the trial on WatchMyBit.Com.Here are the links:
Silk Road Trial Day 3 Exclusive Interview with Lyn Ulbricht:
The Silk Road Trial: