The Influence of the Dark Web on Cyber Security and Internet Governance

Vinay Aseri
Vinay Aseri
Intern- CyberPeace
Feb 23, 2024

About Global Commission on Internet Governance 

The Global Commission on Internet Governance was established in January 2014 with the goal of formulating and advancing a strategic vision for Internet governance going forward. Independent research on Internet-related issues of international public policy is carried out and supported over the two-year initiative. An official commission report with particular policy recommendations for the future of Internet governance will be made available as a result of this initiative.

There are two goals for the Global Commission on Internet Governance. First, it will encourage a broad and inclusive public discussion on how Internet governance will develop globally. Second, through its comprehensive policy-oriented report and the subsequent marketing of this final report, the Global Commission on Internet Governance will present its findings to key stakeholders at major Internet governance events.

The Internet: exploring the world wide web and the deep web

The Internet can be thought of as a vast networking infrastructure, or network of networks. By linking millions of computers worldwide, it creates a network that allows any two computers, provided they are both online, to speak with one another.

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the only language spoken over the Internet and is used by the Web to transfer data. Email, which depends on File Transfer Protocol, Usenet newsgroups, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and instant messaging, is also used on the Internet—not the Web. Thus, even though it's a sizable chunk, the Web is only a part of the Internet [1]. In summary, the deep Web is the portion of the Internet that is not visible to the naked eye. It is stuff from the World Wide Web that isn't available on the main Web. Standard search engines cannot reach it. More than 500 times larger than the visible Web is this enormous subset of the Internet [1-2].

The Global Commission on Internet Governance will concentrate on four principal themes:

• Improving the legitimacy of government, including standards and methods for regulation;

• Promoting economic innovation and expansion, including the development of infrastructure, competition laws, and vital Internet resources; 

• Safeguarding online human rights, including establishing the idea of technological neutrality for rights to privacy, human rights, and freedom of expression;

• Preventing systemic risk includes setting standards for state behaviour, cooperating with law enforcement to combat cybercrime, preventing its spread, fostering confidence, and addressing disarmament-related issues.

Dark Web 

The part of the deep Web that has been purposefully concealed and is unreachable using conventional Web browsers is known as the "dark Web." Dark Web sites are a platform for Internet users who value their anonymity since they shield users from prying eyes and typically utilize encryption to thwart monitoring. The Tor network is a well-known source for content that may be discovered on the dark web. Only a unique Web browser known as the Tor browser is required to access the anonymous Tor network (Tor 2014). It was a technique for anonymous online communication that the US Naval Research Laboratory first introduced as The Onion Routing (Tor) project in 2002. Many of the functionality offered by Tor are also available on I2P, another network. On the other hand, I2P was intended to function as a network inside the Internet, with traffic contained within its boundaries. Better anonymous access to the open Internet is offered by Tor, while a more dependable and stable "network within the network" is provided by I2P [3].

Cybersecurity in the dark web

Cyber crime is not any different than crime in the real world — it is just executed in a new medium: “Virtual criminality’ is basically the same as the terrestrial crime with which we are familiar. To be sure, some of the manifestations are new. But a great deal of crime committed with or against computers differs only in terms of the medium. While the technology of implementation, and particularly its efficiency, may be without precedent, the crime is fundamentally familiar. It is less a question of something completely different than a recognizable crime committed in a completely different way [4].”

Dark web monitoring

The dark Web, in general, and the Tor network, in particular, offer a secure platform for cybercriminals to support a vast amount of illegal activities — from anonymous marketplaces to secure means of communication, to an untraceable and difficult to shut down infrastructure for deploying malware and botnets.

As such, it has become increasingly important for security agencies to track and monitor the activities in the dark Web, focusing today on Tor networks, but possibly extending to other technologies in the near future. Due to its intricate webbing and design, monitoring the dark Web will continue to pose significant challenges. Efforts to address it should be focused on the areas discussed below [5].

Hidden service directory of dark web

A domain database used by both Tor and I2P is based on a distributed system called a "distributed hash table," or DHT. In order for a DHT to function, its nodes must cooperate to store and manage a portion of the database, which takes the shape of a key-value store. Owing to the distributed character of the domain resolution process for hidden services, nodes inside the DHT can be positioned to track requests originating from a certain domain [6].


The deep Web, and especially dark Web networks like Tor (2004), offer bad actors a practical means of transacting in products anonymously and lawfully.

The absence of discernible activity in non-traditional dark web networks is not evidence of their nonexistence. As per the guiding philosophy of the dark web, the actions are actually harder to identify and monitor. Critical mass is one of the market's driving forces. It seems unlikely that operators on the black Web will require a great degree of stealth until the repercussions are severe enough, should they be caught. It is possible that certain websites might go down, have a short trading window, and then reappear, which would make it harder to look into them.


  1. Ciancaglini, Vincenzo, Marco Balduzzi, Max Goncharov and Robert McArdle. 2013. “Deepweb and Cybercrime: It’s Not All About TOR.” Trend Micro Research Paper. October. 
  2. Coughlin, Con. 2014. “How Social Media Is Helping Islamic State to Spread Its Poison.” The Telegraph, November 5. 
  3. Dahl, Julia. 2014. “Identity Theft Ensnares Millions while the Law Plays Catch Up.” CBS News, July 14. 
  4. Dean, Matt. 2014. “Digital Currencies Fueling Crime on the Dark Side of the Internet.” Fox Business, December 18.
  5. Falconer, Joel. 2012. “A Journey into the Dark Corners of the Deep Web.” The Next Web, October 8. 
  6. Gehl, Robert W. 2014. “Power/Freedom on the Dark Web: A Digital Ethnography of the Dark Web Social Network.” New Media & Society, October 15. 10/16/1461444814554900.full#ref-38.

Feb 23, 2024
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