Many of us have heard about the dark web but only a minority of people would even think about accessing it, even if they knew how to, let alone use it as a platform for illegal and underhand dealings.

Those that use the dark web with criminal gains in mind are almost literally living in the shadows and that makes it a real challenge when trying to bring these perpetrators to justice.

Sites such as lawmanaging exist to try and enlighten as many as possible about current legal topics. Issues such as the dark web can often be talked about because it is renowned for being a challenging arena to police effectively or allow authorities to implement law enforcement.

Here is a look at some of the challenges.

The dark web explained

It is abundantly clear that the dark web has become a platform that is routinely exploited by people involved in many aspects of criminality, from drug dealers to arms dealing, and plenty of other illegal activities besides.

What is the dark web?

In simple terms, the dark web is actually a hidden layer of the internet that is only visible and accessible when using software designed to access sites that are hidden from conventional search engine results.

The content on the dark web is not indexed and it was originally developed so that government communications could be kept secret and online movements would be difficult to track.

The dark web is primarily used by people who are keen to maintain a level of anonymity. This makes it an area of the internet that is ripe for illegal activities as a result of this lack of monitoring and privacy.

How do law enforcement agents track down the criminals?

The obvious question is that if the dark web is so secretive and difficult to infiltrate how do law enforcement agencies bring the criminals down and put a stop to their illegal activities?

It can actually be so difficult to track down criminals operating on the dark web that law enforcement officials often have to rely on someone making a mistake that allows a window of opportunity to follow a trail and attempt a prosecution.

What law enforcement agencies are constantly trying to do is increase the visibility of the dark web by using a number of tools and initiatives.

It has to be said that the majority of traditional law enforcement departments are largely oblivious to the activities going in under their noses. However, forensic investigation techniques are rapidly becoming more advanced and that is helping to uncover illegal sites that are operating under the radar.

Sharing of information between different agencies and departments is also vital, especially when it comes to international activities, which is often the problem when you consider the web doesn’t really have any borders.

A lack of knowledge of how the dark web operates can give tech-savvy criminals the upper hand but that is changing as part of a concerted effort to bring criminals using the dark web for illegal activities to justice.