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DARK WEBS THEY WEAVE: Drug dealer’s lawyer blames Fairfax writer for hooking him up with drug site

FairfaxaddictsA criminal defence lawyer has told the County Court that a writer for The Age newspaper was responsible for informing his drug dealing client about how to obtain his supply from the internet.

Defence barrister JJ Jassar tendered an article on Silk Road by Melbourne writer, journalist and blogger Eiley Ormsby from which he said Howard found the website.

A sanitised account of the submission appeared on the Age’s website that neglects to mention:

■ The offending article was published – and is still published to the present day – on The Age’s website; and

■ The writer – Eileen Ormsby –  appears to be wheeled in by Fairfax management for strike-breaking purposes, suggesting she’ll come in handy for management going forward as it navigates the tricky territory of letting go most if not all of its editorial staff has written for The Age a number of times in a way many could regard as promoting the online drug site.

While the effects of illegal drugs varies, even the most supposedly innocuous of them have been associated with causing schizophrenia, memory loss and prompting addicts to get into a drug death cycle, taking ever more powerful narcotics

The Age online was not alone in talking up the drug-dealers’ site, Radio National had a red hot go at it too, giving Ms Ormsby’s pro-drugs views a credibility most would think they do not deserve.

While we won’t go into it in the same kind of detail as Ms Ormsby has, her writing frequently explains in detail how people can access this online operation in a manner you’d hope she might have feel cautious about if it related to child sex abuse, for example.

This is because Ms Ormsby makes it clear that she thinks the “War on Drugs” has failed and that online purchasing of dangerous, illegal online drugs is the way to go. It’s one thing for a blogger to be a spruiker for an online drug trafficking site but it does seem puzzling indeed that Fairfax would give these somewhat unorthodox views a serious profile.

In her interview with Radio National, Ms Ormsby insisted the operation was “highly professional” and was akin to eBay in its methods, saying it was open to “anyone” and that it was all “completely anonymous.” Anyone familiar with these things will tell you there’s no such thing as completely anonymous online, no matter how much people fantasise to the contrary.

And sure enough, one young dope, inspired by what The Age’s writer Ms Ormsby had described, has found out the hard way that acting on information contained within it can only lead to trouble.


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  1. Just give him life with no remission

    Posted by Argus Tuft | January 31, 2013, 17:07
  2. “Defence barrister JJ Jassar tendered an article on Silk Road by Melbourne writer, journalist and blogger Eiley Ormsby from which he said Howard found the website.”

    Who’s Howard?

    Posted by Anon | February 1, 2013, 11:57
  3. Judge Murphy on Wednesday described Paul Leslie Howard – who used Silk Road to import cocaine, MDMA and amphetamine and trafficked those drugs and also LSD, methamphetamine and marijuana – as operating a “smorgasbord drug-market .”

    Posted by If all else fails read the instructions | February 1, 2013, 21:54
  4. Your slogan is “let freedom ring” and then you go on to bully another journalist for blogging facts? Alright then.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2013, 1:07
  5. In fairness to Eileen Ormsby, here’s her response to the nonsense you are writing about her: http://allthingsvice.com/2013/02/05/a-response-to-vexnews/

    Posted by Fredrik | February 10, 2013, 1:19
  6. This must count as THE most uninformed, prejudiced and sensationalist bits of journalism I’ve ever read.

    Posted by Anothernonymous | February 13, 2013, 21:38
  7. The photo should be captioned “defeated Federal ALP MP contemplates his future”

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | February 20, 2013, 15:59