An Immigrations and Customs Agency (ICE) special agent, who previously was involved with the investigation into Mt. Gox, has issued a subpoena to reddit in an attempt to learn more about five redditors active on /r/darknetmarkets.
That subreddit has been very active as a “clearnet” (eg, not on Tor) discussion for various Dark Market websites over at least the last several months.
Neither ICE nor the Department of Justice immediately responded to Ars' request for comment.
The subpoena, which Special Agent Michael McFarland issued on March 20, 2015, asks for “all available account and associated account information” related to:
On Tuesday morning, Ars was provided a copy of the subpoena by one of the listed targets. The contents were previously described by Wired and by one of those targets, Gwern Branwen, on the subreddit itself. Branwen is a self-described “freelance writer & researcher” who has been looking into dark markets for some time now, and the writer wrote, "I was alerted by Reddit that there had been a subpoena for my Reddit account information and they would be responding by 2015-03-30."
- EVOSMITH (evosmith)
- NSWGREAT (NSWGreat)
- Z-L (z-l)
- GWERN (Gwern)
- DEEPTHROAT_ (DeepThroat_)
NSWGreat, who claimed to have “admin access” to the now-defunct Evolution (the largest successor to the Silk Road), was the first user to break news of the site’s recent collapse.
The others, Branwen wrote:were just 3 of the legion of trolls and scammers and fools who popped up in the immediate aftermath, claiming to have secret information, offering to dox or attack the Evo admins in exchange for Bitcoins (upfront, naturally), posting faked chats intended to deliver malware (example).He elaborated to Ars by e-mail:
I think NSWGreat is the top target of the subpoena. He was definitely an active vendor and an Evo employee, and (foolishly) claims to met Verto & Kimble [Note: the creators of Evolution] personally. If [law enforcement] was investigating Evo at all, he's one of the single most obvious targets of all, similar to how Cirrus's bitcoin sales made her the obvious target among the [Silk Road] employees.A whole host of data
zl and deepthroat are the next most important targets since apparently LE thinks they may know something. I'm just a further tangent to zl, and so of even less importance. The 5 accounts form a web with V/K in the center.
Special Agent McFarland wants a host of information on each user, including:a). The subscriber's name; e-mail address, registration IP address, registration date, current IP address;reddit is unlikely to have much of this information, and a company spokeswoman declined to comment as to whether the site handed over any such data or attempted to challenge the subpoena.
b) The subscriber's address;
c) The subscriber's local and long distance telephone toll billing records;
d) The subscriber's records of session times and durations;
e) The subscriber's length of service (including start date) and types of services utilized;
f) The subscriber's telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address;
g) The subscriber's means and source of payment for such service (including any credit card or bank number).
That policy states that the company logs and “retains indefinitely, the IP address from which the account is initially created.”
It adds:We may disclose—or preserve for future disclosure—your information if we believe, after due consideration, that doing so is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation, or valid legal process. If we are going to release your information, we will do our best to provide you with notice in advance via reddit's private messaging system unless we are prohibited by court order from doing so (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b)).31 March 2015
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