Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht, took to YouTube this week to defend her son and explain why she believes he did not get a fair trial.
In a nearly hour-long video uploaded Thursday, Lyn speaks with media producer Richard Grove about a variety of issues, including the drug war, the prison system, and the media coverage surrounding Ross's trial.
The video was apparently filmed at Porcfest, a libertarian festival Ross has attended in the past and addressed earlier this month in a letter from prison. In it, Lyn said she is motivated by her belief in her son's case, but that her fight has gone beyond that.
"Since I've gotten involved in this, and seen up close and personal how the government works, I've seen a bigger fight as well," she said. "I feel like we are in very important times, we're at a crossroads in history now. We've left the 20th century, we're careening into the 21st century, and the digital age, and I think the government is expanding very rapidly and I'm concerned for our freedoms. I think it's very important for people to step up now and address this issue."
Lyn said she doesn't defend drug use, or Silk Road, but is concerned about the precedents she says being set by the case. She addressed the server issue that has become widely contested in the case, saying the government's explanation for finding it has been "debunked worldwide."
She also discussed the corruption in an investigation of Silk Road that was precluded from the trial so the government could finish its investigation. The two agents involved have since plead guilty.
"How could anyone say that doesn't taint the evidence? How could we rely on this evidence? And yet, it wasn't allowed to be known to the jury, it was totally precluded from the trial, which to me is a huge scandal," she said.
She also criticized the media surrounding the case, saying it put too much faith in the government's narrative of events. Lyn commented on the sentencing of Barrett Brown, which she said has had a chilling effect on investigative journalism and reflects a larger problem of harsh sentences for nonviolent crimes.
"A lot of our very bright, young, idealistic people are being put in cages now," she said. "And it's appalling."