Bigger Picture Regarding Illegal Content Needed

March 25, 2016

Every once in awhile an article on the Dark Web comes along that takes a step back from the latest action on Tor and offers a deep-dive on the topic at large. Delving into the World of the Dark Web was recently published on Raconteur, for example. In this article, we learned the definition of darknets: networks only accessible through particular software, such as Tor, and trusted peer authorization. The article continues,

“The best known, and by far the most popular, darknet is the Onion Router (Tor), which was created by the US Naval Research Labs in the 90s as an enabler of secure communication and funded by the US Department of Defense. To navigate it you use the Tor browser, similar to Google Chrome or Internet Explorer apart from keeping the identity of the person doing the browsing a secret. Importantly, this secrecy also applies to what the user is looking at. It is because servers hosting websites on the Tor network, denoted by their .onion (dot onion) designation, are able to mask their location.”

Today, the Dark Web is publicly available to be used anonymously by anyone with darknet software and home to a fair amount of criminal activity. Researchers at King’s College London scraped the .onion sites and results suggested about 57 percent of Tor sites host illegal content. We wonder about the larger context; for example, what percent of sites viewed on mainstream internet browsers host illegal content?


Megan Feil, March 25, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


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