To understand whether the Dark Web is illegal or not, you have to understand three different concepts: Clearnet, Deep web, and Dark web. The easiest to understand is that of the Clearnet, which is the Internet as you know it, the pages that you find in Google and other search engines, and that you can access directly from them. Think, for example, of a page that you access by writing a conventional web address in the browser, but whose content you cannot access if you do not pay a certain fee or a monthly fee, or maybe that page is behind a login door, that is Deep Web.
If the Deep Web is 70% of the Internet, the Dark Web would occupy only 0.1% of the global pie. It is a portion of the Internet intentionally hidden from search engines, with masked IP addresses accessible only with a special web browser.
However, the deep web is not entirely error-free. While the dark web is only 0.1% of the deep web, this tiny ribbon is arguably the most dangerous part of it.
You cannot gain access to the dark web through the normal web browser like Google Chrome or Safari. To access it, you need to download encryption software like Tor for that and the hiddenwiki which is also accessed from TOR. The hiddenwiki is TOR’s hidden service that can anonymously be edited by anyone.
What Tor does is to anonymize user identification, location, and data transfer, which is why there is a huge amount of criminal activity on the dark web. More than half of the sites on the dark web offer illegal products or services, according to a study by two cybersecurity experts. And it is almost impossible to trace any of these criminals or their actions, because of the encryption.
But even though law enforcement has little in the way of catching these criminals, the dark web’s anonymity is indeed beneficial to its ethical users.
You can use the dark web to communicate online without leaving a digital trail, political informants, activists and journalists who live in oppressive countries who censor the internet or punish outspoken citizens can use the dark web to express their true opinions without revealing their identities.
Indeed, the dark web has two flawless spectram. It could be a platform for silence, or it could be a breeding ground for illegal activity. And that springs up the next question …
Is the dark web legal or illegal?
It is not illegal to enter the Dark Web, but it is illegal to access certain pages of the Dark Web, especially those related to the sale of weapons or drugs. Today, some hackers have made this unindexed Internet possible and are helping law enforcement agencies trace connections and directly reach dangerous users who pose a security threat.
It is well known that the Dark Web was used to carry out criminal activities (buying and selling weapons, drugs, child prostitution) with the intention that the perpetrators cannot be identified.
There are exceptions and this has to do with the use of the Dark Web. There are people who seek anonymity because they are dissenters from governments. In China it is very common that people use the Dark Web to avoid being monitored by the government, most are political dissidents and people who do not trust the traditional Internet. They use the network without serious criminal purposes.
Therefore, the legality of the use of the Dark Web is directly dependent on the exact use that is made of it within the network.
Browsing safely through the dark web
If you want to enter the Dark Web, you cannot do it using traditional browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox, you must do so through a browser called TOR (The Onion Router) and other encrypted browsers.
TOR works using several layers, like an onion. This redirects Internet traffic through a worldwide free volunteer coverage network to hide the location and the user, encrypting each message and content at each point. As a result, it is almost impossible to trace the origin of these communications.