The Dark Web

Dark Spider Web
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The Dark Web

This story seems to just keep happening, every so often another Dark Web marketplace is taken down.

Police in US, Europe arrest 150 suspects in global dark web sting

But what is the Dark Web and what is a marketplace and why are they being taken down?

The Dark Web

The dark web is nothing more than internet websites that are not part of the publicly accessible internet. They could be a secret portal on a website connected to the public internet, but more often they are part of the onion router network, which is not accessible via the public internet and requires a special browser to access. But please note that just because it isn’t publicly accessible without using a special browser, doesn’t mean that it is an illicit website doing illegal activities. Many of these websites are operated by individuals who just don’t trust their government, so they try to hide their identity as much as possible.

According to our friend, Wikipedia, the dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets: overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. Through the dark web, private computer networks can communicate and conduct business anonymously without divulging identifying information, such as a user’s location. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by web search engines, although sometimes the term deep web is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.

In English, the dark web is simply restricted websites but often is part of the deep web. The deep web is websites that are not indexed by search engines. The most common form of the dark web is the Onion router network or Tor network, but there are others like Freenet, I2P, and Riffle to name a few.

A Marketplace
A marketplace is nothing more than a website that is offering services, in the case of the article listed above, the DeepSea marketplace was selling illicit goods and services. Unfortunately, the sale of illicit goods and services is what seems to get all the publicity, but it doesn’t need to be illicit to be considered a marketplace. It does however seem that most dark web marketplaces are nothing more than illegal black markets.

The DeepSea marketplace was started in early 2020 by an anonymous group in Germany according to the article they sold services including weapons and drugs. In the past dark web marketplaces that were raided by police also included prostitution, human trafficking, stolen credit cards, fake driver’s licenses, fake passports, assassinations, and child pornography.

With the advent of crypto-currencies, it became not only possible to complete trades online without leaving a money trail.

History of Raids
It seems like the very first and most famous marketplace to get raided and shut down was the Silk Road. Silk Road was created by Ross Ulbricht in February 2011. Over the next two years, the Silk Road set the standard for darknet marketplaces. By the time it was shut down in October 2013, and Ross Ulbricht was arrested, the site had traded an estimated $183 million worth of goods and services.

It was reported that there were over 10,000 items for sale on the Silk Road marketplace 70% of which were drugs.

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