Dark Web – State of the Art Review: organised (international) crime and their high-tech use of the dark web, the influence on public security, and the counter policing activities.
This State of the Art review is written by TNO within project Medi@4SEC, which is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union.
Historically, technology has revolutionized policing practices but it has also facilitated criminality with the Dark Web emerging as a key space for “high tech” (organized) cybercrimes. The analysis presented in this report raises a number of issues which should be taken into account in the discussion on policing against Dark Web: Should policies rely on flexible and adaptable innovations, to avoid limited applicability in a cybercrime community that is capable of rapidly quickly develop countermeasures? Furthermore, there should be no “size-fits-all” measures: strategies should differentiate between the types of crime, nor should there are “total-block” strategies: policies should seek balance between freedom of speech and crime facilitation. In the case of cryptomarket-related crimes, how to be able to tackle the ecosystem, instead of single targets, and focus on the demand first, instead of the vendors side only with strategies that focus on the “economical game”? Moreover, with violent extremism, how to set out strategies that focus on the producers, rather than on the consumers of extremist material? And also, how to empower the “good” and the “grey” users with spaces for open debate that allows extremisms to be blended and debated? Finally, what are the options of applying social media strategies from the Clear Web to the Dark Web, being aware of the differences between the two digital dimensions?