According to a report by TechCrunch published May 7, 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested several individuals suspected of running the deep web search engine called Deep Dot Web.
Although not all users might be aware of the web’s dark side, it’s safe to say that the portrayal of the dark web in pop culture as the underbelly of the Internet has piqued the interest of many. However, the reality of this aspect of the digital experience is often much grimmer than what commentators let on.
This reality was reaffirmed when the FBI arrested two individuals in Israel suspected of involvement in running Deep Dot Web, a website infamous for granting users access to dark web sites and marketplaces for the purchase of drugs, weapons, stolen credit card information, and other illicit material. The two individuals were arrested in Tel Aviv and Ashdod.
Per sources close to the matter, similar arrests were also made in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Brazil. The crackdown on dark web criminals is the result of a carefully planned two-year long operation involving the FBI and the European police agency Europol.
The Times of Israel reports that the administrators of Deep Dot Web likely made millions of dollars through a commission by offering referral links to dark web marketplaces.
It’s worth highlighting that dark web addresses can only be accessed at .onion domains through Tor Browser. Users are able to avoid being tracked on the Internet through Tor as it bounces traffic through random, unrelated server addresses across the world.
Deep Dot Web’s .onion website now displays a “seized” notice by the FBI citing money laundering laws.
Tightening the Noose
Law enforcement agencies around the world have made it known that people associated with the dark web will no longer have it easy.
BTCManager reported on April 25, 2019, how two men from Texas pled guilty to the Manhattan Supreme Court to selling illegal steroids and drugs on the dark web.
On a more recent note, the German Federal Criminal Police on May 5, 2019, arrested the administrators of the largest dark web market, the Wall Street Market.