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Deep web vs. dark web

The terms “deep web” and “dark web” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. The deep web refers to any internet content not accessible through a search engine like Google, while the dark web is a subset of the deep web, specifically known for its illegal activities.

The deep web includes legal and legitimate content such as paywalled publications, databases, and academic journals and research. In contrast, the dark web is notorious for its illegal activities, including black markets for stolen credit card information, firearms, malware, prostitution, sex trafficking, drugs, and access to botnets for conducting cyberattacks. The dark web is home to illegal marketplaces and forums where criminal activity is advertised and discussed. Examples of these marketplaces include Empire Market, Dream Market, and Nightmare Market.

One of the most famous dark web sites was Silk Road, a drug dealing website that received widespread media attention and ultimately led to the arrest and life imprisonment of its owner. Child exploitation material is the only illegal product not commonly found on major dark web markets, as pedophiles have their own separate sites and forums.

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