What is and isn’t legal on the dark web

On Behalf of | May 3, 2023 | Internet Crimes |

You’ve probably heard of the “dark web” and know that many of the sites help people engage in illegal activity. That is one part of it. Not everything on the dark web is nefarious. 

It’s also a way for people in countries where traditional social media sites are censored or completely inaccessible to connect with others in their own countries and around the world. Takeovers of totalitarian regimes have been organized on the dark web. Many journalists and scholars use it as well.

You have to know how to find illegal activity on the dark web

Contrary to what some people believe, you can’t just accidentally wander onto the dark web from Google. Typically, you need to download a special browser like The Onion Router (TOR). Even then, you need to know how to find what you’re looking for.

Just being on a site that’s on the dark web typically isn’t illegal (although some are). However, there’s a lot of illegal activity being facilitated on some of these sites, including child pornography and trafficking, firearms sales, stolen credit cards and ID information, drug dealing, murder (and other crimes) for hire and domestic terrorism. These can all, of course, have serious legal consequences – both at the state and federal level.

Anonymity isn’t guaranteed

One of the main attractions of the dark web is that it’s supposedly anonymous. People often pay for products and services using cryptocurrency. However, as activity on the dark web has increased, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world are putting more resources into it and have become much more adept at identifying people engaging in illegal activity there. They’re often helped by people who have illegal items mailed to their real name and address or who don’t use a virtual private network (VPN) to hide their identity.

If you’re facing charges stemming from allegedly engaging in activity initiated on the dark web, it’s crucial to have experienced legal guidance. This can help you protect your rights and your future.


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