The newly published documents (which are dated from September 2013) specifically mention JTAN, a small hosting firm based in Easton, Pennsylvania that accepts payment in Bitcoin and previously offered “Privacy Services.” It also sells its services via anonymous accounts.
The hosting company's site states, “JTAN offers accounts and services without requiring you to tell us your name or physical address. Regardless of the fact that you attempt to remain anonymous, all JTAN account Terms and Conditions remain in effect.”
While the court documents do not mention the owner of JTAN, whois records show that it belongs to one Christopher Nadovich of Sellersville, Pennsylvania.
Nadovich is the director of laboratories at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Lafayette College in nearby Easton, about 80 miles due west of New York City.
"I'm afraid that I'm not willing to comment about Silk Road," Nadovich told Ars, adding that he is still employed by Lafayette College. Nadovich also noted that JTAN is still in business—and he's looking to sell the business. He also told Ars that JTAN continues to allows anonymous customers.
For now, a search of online court records shows that no charges have been filed against Nadovich.
A thread leading backLast month Ross Ulbricht, a young Texan, was formally indicted on charges of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, continuing criminal enterprise, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.
Ulbricht’s defense attorney, Joshua Dratel, previously told Ars, "Ross will be pleading not guilty at the arraignment. The indictment was expected and does not contain any new factual allegations. We look forward to beginning the discovery process and preparing Ross’s defense."
The new JTAN affidavit in support of a search warrant, written by an FBI agent whose name was redacted, notes that the agency has analyzed the contents of the seized Silk Road server.
Among other data, the Silk Road Web Server contains databases used to run the Silk Road website, including databases of vendor postings, transaction records, private messages between users, and other data reflecting user activity. In analyzing the configuration of the Silk Road Web Server, the FBI has discovered that the server regularly purges data from these databases older than 60 days. Thus, the image of the Silk Road Web Server possessed by the FBI contains data reflecting only 60 days of user activity, counting back from the date the server was imaged.
However, the FBI has also discovered computer code on the Silk Road Web Server that periodically backs up data from the server and exports that data to another server. Testing of this backup script has revealed the IP address of the server to which this backup data is exported—namely, the IP address of the TARGET SERVER. Based on analysis of the backup script, it does not appear that previously backed-up data is deleted when new back-ups are made. Therefore, I believe it is likely that the TARGET SERVER contains records of user activity on the Silk Road website spanning a much longer date range than the data kept on the Silk Road Web Server.
Specifically, the FBI asked for “all data from the TARGET SERVER that contains or constitutes evidence, fruits, or instrumentalities of narcotics trafficking and money laundering,” including “relevant passwords, encryption keys and other access devices that may be necessary to access any data pertaining to the TARGET WEBSITE.”
Original thread here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/03/fbi-believes-small-pennsylvania-hosting-company-is-connected-to-silk-road/