The dark web is an encrypted portion of the internet that can only be reached by those who have access to the Tor browser. Typically, it is used by those in South Carolina and elsewhere who are looking to purchase controlled substances or engage in other illegal activities. Transactions are often conducted using Bitcoin or other types of cryptocurrency. However, is generally not illegal simply to access this portion of the internet.
In some cases, it can be used as a means of skirting media bans in authoritarian countries or as a way for whistleblowers to share information. It is also important to note that making a purchase using Bitcoin is not illegal on its own. Common types of illegal transactions that occur on encrypted web sites include murders for hire, extortion and illicit arms deals. As these transactions occur on encrypted sites, it may be difficult for authorities to prove that a specific person engaged in a criminal activity.
Typically, authorities will go onto these sites themselves and try to establish a rapport with those engaging in criminal activity. Criminals may also accidentally reveal their real names, addresses or other identifying information about themselves. The government may use hacking tools that are designed to expose the IP addresses of those who are trying to commit crimes online.
Those who are charged with watching or distributing child pornography or using the internet to commit fraud could face serious consequences if convicted. Consequences might include lengthy jail or prison sentences, fines and registering as a sex offender. An attorney may help a person obtain a favorable outcome in a case by working to suppress evidence or cast doubt on police or other witness testimony. This may result in a defendant being cleared of wrongdoing in a criminal matter.