We have often written about the Dark Web, the mysterious shady place where all sorts of nefarious things happen online. Most of it is illegal, otherwise it would not have to be hidden in the darkest corners of the internet.
Still, while we know it exists, it’s probably not something most of us think about often. At least, we hope not to.
But whether the Dark Web is a big deal for us or not, it is in fact real and most certainly a problem. That was most definitely the case this week, as the U.S. Department of Justice got involved with a big bust of vendors who operated in it.
Shining a light on the darkness
When the dust settled, more than 35 vendors were caught up in it all and $23.6 million was seized. Also confiscated were more than 100 guns — including a grenade launcher — $3.6 million in gold and cash, and 2,000 Bitcoin.
Indeed, it was a giant step forward for combating what goes on in the Dark Web.
Multiple agencies combined their efforts to make the bust happen. Among them were the Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigations, the Secret Service, DEA and Postal Inspection Service.
They infiltrated the Dark Web by having HSI agents pose as money launderers on various sites that sold drugs, weapons and other illicit goods. Names of those arrested have not been released, but it was learned that their ages ranged from 21 to 34 and the group included multiple people in California and New York.
Should we expect more of this in the future?
It stands to reason that as long as the Dark Web continues to exist as a place for crimes to be committed and illegal goods to be sold, more arrests and seizures should happen. However, considering we know these things occur and yet news like this doesn’t come out often shows how tough it can be to catch people.
After all, the whole point of even having the Dark Web is for it to be difficult to track and see, with its prevalence of friend-to-friend, peer-to-peer and encrypted networks. But just because they are tough to crack does not mean they are impenetrable, as this latest bust shows.
Yet, there are plenty of ways in which the Dark Web survives, and often times when one site or avenue is taken away, others pop up. Use of undercover tactics help to bring them down and its users to justice, and the more attention that is given to the Dark Web, the less likely it is to remain in the shadows.
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