There is an “overwhelming” presence of content related to illegal activities on easily-accessible dark web sites, according to new research.
“The results suggest that the most common uses for websites on Tor hidden services are criminal, including drugs, illicit finances and pornography involving violence, children and animals,” Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid, both of King’s College London, write in Cryptopolitik and the Darknet, an essay and research project looking into the relationship between privacy and security. The piece will appear in the February/March issue of Survival, a journal from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
As part of their research, the pair scraped Tor hidden services and analysed their content to build up a picture of what sort of services are hosted on the so-called dark web.
“The database analysis brought to light the overwhelming presence of illicit content on the Tor darknet,” they write.
Over a five week period, the pair found 5,205 live websites, 2,723 of which they were able to classify by content. Of those, 1,547 hosted illicit material—around 57 percent.