In addition to the Internet as an open and non-anonymous network, an increasingly prominent counterpoint has developed in recent years: the darknet. It is a collective term for all anonymous networksthat allow you to browse the World Wide Web without identifying the person.
This, of course, offers space for all kinds of criminal activities. From the arms and drug trade to illegal exchange of data and child pornography, all kinds of illegal businesses can take place in this anonymous area of the Internet.
But is the dark web illegal? Can it also be used for legal purposes? Are you even liable to prosecution if you "enter" the darknet? The following guide gets to the bottom of all these questions and provides you with the most important information about the "dark web".
Here you can read in detail what the darknet represents and how it works.
Is the dark web illegal?
no. Surfing on the darknet is not illegal. However, there are some areas where illegal business is taking place.
What illegal offers are available on the Darknet?
Is it illegal to surf the darknet?
The darknet is illegal – this impression can quickly arise when the coverage around this anonymous place is tracked on Internet. In practice, however, it is not as simple as that. In following we give you a small overview, in which cases anonymity in darknet is not illegal, but essential.
This space is important far from surveillance, especially for journalists. Especially in countries such as China, Syria or Iraq, it is important for their professional practice to find secure channelsof communication that are not covered by state investigative commissions.
This is therefore, a quasi-important instrument of freedom of press. Basically, darknet can be an important platform for all people who need to protect your data.
Human rights organisations and whistleblowers, or even private individuals, who want to remain anonymous for data protection on Internet and thus do not allow user profiles to be created, which are often used for advertising purposes, also operate in this area.
To claim that darknet is fundamentally illegal is a one-sided view that does not take into account benefits of anonymity on Internet for people who have no criminal activity in mind. It can also be an important tool for encrypted communication and journalistic reporting. Especially in countries where politics tries to suppress critical opinions, darknet can make a decisive contribution to freedom of expression.
How does the Darknet work?
Many people ask themselves how you can get into darknet in first place. Illegal or legal does not play a role in this at first. Simply surfing darknet itself is not a criminal act in principle.
In order to explain how a user can get into darknet in first place, first step is to describe how it works. Unlike Internet, which runs from a central server, darknet combines several private PCs into one network.
Data can then be provided from any of these networked computers. If data is exchanged, it is always encrypted. This provides enormous data security, but speed suffers from this luxury.
How do I get to the Darknet?
Not every user can simply "enter" darknet. This requires a special software package(Tor browserpackage)which needs to be downloaded and installed. If this is activated, it attaches itself to browser (e.g. Firefox) and encrypts data stream.
This encryption is guaranteed by principle of a "tor network". You dial into same one with your PC. Other users' computers also access encrypted network. Thus, virtually all computers use same encryption,which makes it impossible to identify individual.
Dialing into darknet is not illegal. Once you are "in it", however, room is open for illegal activities. However, popular search engines do not work on anonymous Internet.
If you want to access a specific page,this is only possible via so-called link lists. Some of these links lead to marketplaces where darknet is used illegally. Weapons, drugs or even child pornography are offered here. The file sharing of music or movies is also widespread in dark web.
Good to know: If you want to buy somethingillegally on darknet, this is often only possible with so-called "Bitcoins". It is a cryptocurrency, i.e. a digital means of payment.
Offers on Darknet (Illegal)
Weapons can be purchased illegally on Darknet.
As is clear, anonymity of darknet offers plenty of room for criminal acts. Cybercrime is also mentioned in this context. In contrast to drug trafficking on streets, however, investigative authorities are much more difficult to work with.
But what exactly can be purchased illegally on darknet? Below we give you a small overview of productsthat are traded illegally on darknet:
- Stolen data
- Fake document
- human trafficking
- organ trade
Use Darknet illegally: Example Silk Road
A prominent example of a market where darknet was used illegally is "Silk Road,"which went into operation in 2011. Illegal drugs and other goods could be purchased through this virtual black market. Paid in Bitcoins.
Two and a half years later, a data leak allowed investigators to arrest site's operator,Ross Ulbricht. In course of this Silk Road was initially completely shut down. A month later, however, sequel went online under creative name Silk Road 2.0, supposedly with significantly increased security precautions.
In February 2014, platform through which darknet could be used illegally was hacked. A first stopover of final decline of illegal site. On November 6, 2014, site was confiscated and shut down by an action by Interpol and the FBI.
On May 29, 2015, Ulbricht,who illegally used darknet by creating Silk Road platform, was sentenced to life in prison. The charges included formation of a criminal association.
Conclusion: Surfing on the darknet does not have to be illegal
The darknet illegally pays with Bitcoins.
It turns out that darknet can be operated illegally as well as legally. If you just want to move anonymously through World Wide Web to protect your data, you don't do anything forbidden per se.
This is especially important for journalists and whistleblowerswho can operate in surveillance states and connect with them without fear of government sanctions.
However, part of users who use darknet illegally must not be overlooked. From drug trafficking to illegal exchange of data to trade in stolen data.
So it is not possible to make a blanket statement about darknet. It is neither a platform based on crime, nor a completely harmless way to surf Internet anonymously. Ultimately, it depends on what every single visitor uses darknet for.