Freeross.org is hosting a Free Ross-A-Thon December 4th, from 2pm to 10pm Eastern Standard Time. The Free Ross-A-Thon is taking shape to be an online telethon to help spread the word about Ross Ulbricht, his case, and how our online rights are being trampled every day.
Ulbricht, as we are all aware, is currently serving a double life sentence. This is absolutely unheard of until now; someone serving life, let alone double life for all non-violent crimes. Ulbricht was brought up on charges relating to his role in the Dark Net market, Silk Road. The Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense effort was set up to help Ulbricht overcome his drastic sentence of double life. During his time behind bars so far, Ulbricht has found that his case isn’t as unique as he thought. Many of the inmates he has met and talked with have expressed similar doings in how they were investigated, tried, and sentenced. His legal effort took on the challenge of helping not only Ross himself, but inmates and families in the same boat as Ulbricht, and his family.
The Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense Effort is also tackling much too often unseen and unheard issues such as the sentencing practices of the United States Justice system, mass incarceration within the United States, the infringements of privacy rights and other threats to the Fourth Amendment, as well as the precedents the infamous Silk Road case has set.
Privacy advocates believe this ruling spells bad news for anyone looking to build an online marketplace. Eric Goldman, of Forbes stated:
At any moment, the U.S. Government could tell a story that the online marketplace is part of a giant conspiracy by helping illegal transactions; and on that theory, seize the business and threaten all the founders with the prospect of years or even decades in jail.
Ross was formally charged with seven crimes altogether; which are distributing or aiding and abetting the distribution of narcotics, distribution of controlled substances intentionally accomplished by means of the Internet, Conspiracy with others to violate narcotics laws, engagement in a continuing criminal enterprise, Conspiring with others to commit or aid in computer hacking, conspiring with others to traffic in fraudulent identification documents, and finally Conspiring to commit money laundering. Along with these, the courts forced Ulbricht to turn over $183,961,921. After the courts collected the money, no restitution was then imposed, due to the fact that harm was not done in any money damage terms.
Since his conviction, Ulbricht and his legal defense effort have been fighting for an appeal to the case. Many of Ulbricht’s friends, family, class mates and even teachers have come forward in support of Ross Ulbricht, even to the point of legal protests, and character witness letters. Friends and family were even called upon to testify on his behalf. Blog posts also indicate that there is a movie in the works, under the management of Fox. Ulbricht has since seen support from such parties as the Libertarians, the Drug Policy Alliance, as well as LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Donations are being taken at freeross.org, and registration is also being held there as well.