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The Dark Web – Not as Dark as You Probably Thought
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dark web

Summary: Recent research into the dark web has discovered that the dark web is not as dark as people assumed and is full of mostly legal activity.

The secretive and ominous dark web may not be so dark. The everyday person assumes the daily going-on of the dark web involves drug dealers, child porn, human trafficking, and hitmen making their deals and doing business. However, a new study shows that most of the activity on the dark web is legal and very mundane.


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Terbium Labs, a data intelligence provider, found that around 45 percent of hidden websites host illegal activity. Director of Analysis Emily Wilson said, “What we’ve found is that the dark web isn’t quite as dark as you may have thought. The vast majority of dark web research to date has focused on illegal activity while overlooking the existence of legal content. We wanted to take a complete view of the dark web to determine its true nature and to offer readers of this report a holistic view of dark web activity – both good and bad.”

Conducting a study on the dark web is difficult given the fact that the websites are unindexed and hidden. A random sample was taken from their large-scale crawler of 400 .onion websites, those only accessible when connected to the Tor network.

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Their findings found that “good old-fashioned porn,” which is legal and not exploitative makes up 7 percent. Fraud made up less than 2 percent of the websites and there were no websites with extremist content. Most of the illegal content and commerce were related to drugs, a whopping 12 percent.

The survey’s finding was that most people use the dark web for privacy and security not to do actual dark, twisted, illegal stuff.

Do you think the dark web is a bad thing? Tell us your experience with it in the comments below.

To learn more about the black market, read A “Sprawling Black-Market Bazaar”.



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