Wait, the Dark Web Is Legal?

July 5, 2016

For research purposes, I surf the Dark Web on a regular basis.  It is like skulking around the back alleys of a major city and witnessing all types of crime, but keeping to yourself.  I have seen a few Web sites that could be deemed as legal, but most of the content I peruse is illegal: child pornography, selling prescription drugs, and even a hitman service.  I have begun to think that everything on the Dark Web is illegal, except Help Net Security tells me that “Dark Web Mapping Reveals That Half Of The Content Is Legal.”

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) conducted global survey and discovered that seven in ten (71%) of the surveyors believe the Dark Web needs to be shut down.  There is speculation if the participants eve had the right definition about what the Dark Web is and might have confused the terms “Dark Web” and “Dark Net”.

Darksum, however, mapped the Tor end of the Dark Web and discovered some interesting facts:

  • “Of the 29,532 .onion identified during the sampling period – two weeks in February 2016 – only 46% percent could actually be accessed. The rest were likely stort-lived C&C servers used to manage malware, chat clients, or file-sharing applications.
  • Of those that have been accessed and analyzed with the companies’ “machine-learning” classification method, less than half (48%) can be classified as illegal under UK and US law. A separate manual classification of 1,000 sites found about 68% of the content to be illegal under those same laws.”

Darksum’s goal is to clear up misconceptions about the Dark Web and to better understand what is actually on the hidden sector of the Internet.  The biggest hope is to demonstrate the Dark Web’s benefits.


Whitney Grace,  July 5, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


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