Deep web, also known as invisible web or hidden web. This refers to the part of the Internet that cannot be accessed by traditional search engines. The surface web, which is the part of the Internet accessible by search engines like Google and Bing, is just 4 percent of the entire Internet. While the remaining 96 percent consists of the deep web. This vast network of hidden websites and resources has been used for both legal and illegal purposes.
However, the deep web is also a hotbed of criminal activity. This is called deep web crimes. These crimes include drug and human trafficking, illegal arms sales and cybercrime. Deep web crimes are very serious. This is because they are beyond the reach of law enforcement agencies. That is why it is difficult to investigate and prosecute them.
In this article, we will take a closer look at deep web crimes. We will examine their prevalence, impact, and the challenges they pose to law enforcement agencies. We will also examine several high-profile cases of criminal activity linked to the Deep Web and the efforts being made to combat these crimes.
An Overviwe Of What Is Deep Web
Deep Web Definition
The Deep Web is a term used to describe parts of the Internet that cannot be indexed or searched by traditional search engines. The Surface Web includes websites and information that are easily searchable by search engines. In contrast, the Deep Web includes websites and information that are not publicly accessible or indexed by search engines.
Difference Between Deep Web & Dark Web
Deep web and surface web are different from each other in many ways. The biggest difference is that Surface Web content can be accessed using search engines like Google and Bing. While deep web content cannot be accessed by these search engines.
Also, the surface web comprises only 4% of the entire internet, while the rest is the deep web. Surface web contains websites that can be accessed publicly. Such websites include news sites, ecommerce sites and socia media platforms.
On the other hand, the Deep Web contains content and websites that cannot be searched or indexed by normal search engines. Such websites include academic research, government databases and password protected forums.
How To Access Deep Web?
To access the deep web, a special software, Tor which stands for The Onion Router, is used. Tor is a free and open source software run by various volunteers from around the world. It ensures secure communication by routing the Internet through a network of relays.
This makes it difficult for anyone to trace the origin of the traffic or identify the user. This makes it a popular tool for deep web users who want to avoid getting caught.
There are several reasons why people use the Deep Web. There are some who want to remain anonymous, some who use it for security purposes, while some use it for privacy. In addition, journalists and whistleblowers who report crimes also use the Deep Web.
However, the deep web is also a haven for criminals involved in illegal activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime.
Different Types Of Deep Web Crimes
The Deep Web is a world where many types of crimes take place. We are going to mention some of these types here.
Types Of Deep Web Crimes
- Illegal Drugs Sale The Deep Web has become notorious for its online drug marketplaces such as Silk Road and AlphaBay, which offer a variety of illegal drugs for sale. Sellers often use anonymous payment methods (such as Bitcoin) when selling online to avoid being caught.
- Illegal Sale Of Weapons: The Deep Web is also a marketplace for illegal arms sales. These include firearms, ammunition and explosives. These transactions often take place on darknet markets. In this transaction, buyers and sellers can communicate anonymously.
- Human Trafficking: The Deep Web is a popular place for human trafficking. This trafficking includes sex trafficking and forced labour. Criminals can use the anonymity of the deep web to advertise their victims and sell them to buyers around the world.
- Cybercrime And Hacking: The world of deep web is rich with various tools used for hacking. This makes it favorable for cybercriminals. These criminals can use the deep web to buy and sell malware, stolen data and other tools to carry out cyber attacks.
- Money Laundering: The Deep Web is also a popular place for money laundering. Because criminals can use anonymous payment methods and cryptocurrencies to transfer their ill-gotten gains elsewhere. This includes buying and selling virtual currencies and using online gambling sites for money laundering.
- Terrorism: The deep web has also become a platform for terrorist groups to communicate and organize. These groups can use the anonymity of the deep web to plan and execute attacks. Also, the deep web can be used to raise funds and spread propaganda.
Other Types Of Deep Web Crimes
The Deep Web is also known for many other criminal activities. These include theft, hacking and hiding one's identity.
Case Studies Related To Deep Web Crimes
The Deep Web has been the subject of several high-profile criminal cases in recent years. Here are some notable examples:
1۔ Silk Road
Silk Road was one of the most notorious online marketplaces on the Deep Web. It was founded by Ross Ulbricht (also known as "Dread Pirate Roberts") in 2011. Silk Road was used to sell a variety of illegal drugs as well as weapons and other contraband. , Ulbricht was arrested by the FBI and later sentenced to life in prison on charges including money laundering and drug trafficking conspiracy.
AlphaBay was also a major online marketplace on the Deep Web. It is known for selling drugs, weapons and stolen data. In 2017, the site was shut down by law enforcement agencies in the United States and Europe. Its founder, Alexander Cazes, was arrested in Thailand. Cazes later died in custody, and the site's users and vendors were left looking for new ways to continue their illegal activities.
3۔ Hansa Market
Hansa Market was a darknet market that became popular after AlphaBay shut down. However, what users didn't know was that the site had been taken over by Dutch law enforcement. They ran it for a month to gather information about the site's customers and vendors. In July 2017, Hansa Market was shut down and the Dutch police arrested two of the site's administrators.
These case studies remind us that while the Deep Web enables those involved in illegal activities to remain anonymous, law enforcement agencies are becoming increasingly adept at tracking down and prosecuting Deep Web criminals.
Final Words On Deep Web Crimes
The Deep Web is a hidden part of the Internet that is home to a variety of illegal activities. The anonymity it offers has made it a popular destination for criminals involved in activities ranging from drug trafficking to human trafficking and terrorism. Although law enforcement agencies have made progress in cracking down on these activities and shutting down large deep web markets, the deep web remains a persistent problem.
It is important to recognize that the Deep Web is not inherently evil or illegal, and that there are many legitimate uses for it. However, it is important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself when using the Internet, especially when using the Deep Web. This includes using strong passwords, encrypting sensitive data, and being careful about sharing personal information online.