Author Topic: This Sabu-Dread Pirate Roberts Conspiracy Theory Is Something Else  (Read 1780 times)

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Offline mayya

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This Sabu-Dread Pirate Roberts Conspiracy Theory Is Something Else

By Fruzsina Eördögh

LulzSec hacker Sabu, above, is a known canary, but could he really have taken down Dread Pirate Roberts?

How's this for an internet blockbuster in the making: Dread Pirate Roberts, the mastermind behind the electronic drug market Silk Road, was brought down by FBI informant and former LulzSec member Sabu. Sure, at the moment it's purely online speculation with no hard evidence, yet it's somehow become the lead theory as to how FBI agent Christopher Tarbell was able to identify DPR as Ross William Ulbricht.

In a Newsweek story describing the bust, Tarbell, dubbed “the Eliot Ness of online crime," is cited as relying on a mysterious Agent-1 to make his case against Ulbricht. Tarbell, apparently needing extra help in parsing the Deep Web, was aided by Agent-1 in navigating the Silk Road underworld. Because of the apparent skill of the unnamed Agent-1, some in the hacker and activist community believe agent-1 is Sabu, who has been cooperating with the federal government since June 2011—after being arrested by none other than Tarbell himself.

Sabu, real name Hector Xavier Monsegur, first gained Internet notoriety for leading a series of hacks carried out by Anonymous offshoot LulzSec, and again for building cases against fellow hackers—including Stratfor hacker Jeremy Hammond—who were unaware he was an informant.

Sabu has “literally [since] the day he was arrested… been cooperating with the government proactively," said Assistant US Attorney James Pastore at a secret bail hearing in 2011. A recent note from imprisoned Hammond supports Pastore’s statement and takes it a step further, stating “Sabu was also used by his handlers to facilitate the hacking of targets of the government’s choosing—including numerous websites belonging to foreign governments.” 

Tarbell’s investigation into Ulbricht’s identity is said to have taken nearly two years, which would at least fit the Sabu timeline. Combine that with the fact that Tarbell actually knows confirmed informant Sabu personally, and you've got some dots to start connecting.

That brings us to last Friday, when Sabu was supposed to finally be sentenced, but was not. According to journalist Andrew Blake, this is the fourth time Sabu’s sentence was delayed. Why has his sentencing been delayed again? Online speculation has credited Sabu’s involvement informer Reuters editor Matthew Key’s hacking case as the reason for these delays. But the delay in sentencing so shortly after the DPR arrest has only fueled the DPR-Sabu-Agent-1 connection.

Is it actually the case? Like all good conspiracy theories, it's just plausible enough. Time may tell, as Sabu's potential involvement could possibly come out at Ulbricht's trial. Until then, it's fodder for a rather salacious hypothetical. Potential movie, anyone?

By Fruzsina Eördögh 1 day ago