Dark web is not as dim as you think

155310-bigthumbnailA new survey suggests that dark websites are not all about guns, drugs and kiddy porn.

Dark web data intelligence provider Terbium Labs has conducted the industry’s first data-driven, fact-based research report into what his happening on the Dark Web and found that it was not quite crime central.

The bulk of activity appearing on the dark web is much like the content and commerce found on the clear web. In fact, research found that nearly 55 percent of dark web content is legal.

Emily Wilson, Director of Analysis at Terbium Labs said that 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.”

Terbium Labs based the study on hard data and statistical analysis. The study “The Truth About the Dark Web: Separating Fact from Fiction” used Terbium’s dark web crawler, which continuously scours the dark web adding billions of new records to its database each day.

What this all means is that anonymity does not mean criminality. Pornography is a big part of the dark web, but not all of it is illegal. Discussions about dark web pornography almost exclusively revolve around exploitation, but the dark web is home to its fair share of explicit content that is totally legal — almost 7 per cent of the total content.

Drugs make up only 12 per cent of total content on the dark web, 45 per cent of illegal content on the dark web is focused on drugs. Similarly, pharmaceuticals represent three per cent of dark web content and 12 per cent of illegal content.

Fraud was much lower than anticipated, representing less than two per cent of total dark web content and nearly five per cent of illegal content.

Another odd thing was that the dark web was not terrorist central either. Terbium found only one incident of extremism in its sample. No incidents of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or human trafficking were observed, reiterating how rare these types of content are on the dark web.