The dark web is the part of the internet that people use when they want to enjoy high privacy and anonymity. Dark web sites may offer you the freedom of accessing platforms that may not be available on the surface web or your region.
You may also want to use the dark web for suspicious or illegal reasons. While many people use this part of the internet for odd things, you must remember that such activity can lead to various consequences.
Learning more about the problems you will experience when you misuse the dark web can help you decide whether the activity is worth it or not.
Problems You Will Get If You Try To Misuse The Dark Web
The government May Start Tracking You
When you misuse the dark web by engaging in illegal activities such as buying weapons, your regional government may get an alert of the purchase. This is especially true if the agency was already tracking the dark web sites you bought the firearm from.
Because of the alert, the law enforcement agency may try to discover your location by investigating the purchase in depth. They can also track you more easily through the sale. This means that you will be exposing yourself to risks such as getting arrested.
Remember, there are many ways the government can track you. The agency may penetrate your security protections and use your IP address to locate you. They can also stake out the dropoff site if you will be receiving the weapons at an external site.
Once you’re arrested for buying the weapon, you will be prosecuted and may have to pay a hefty fine. You may also suffer from jail time because of the illegal purchase. This means that your professional and personal life will suffer a serious blow.
The jail time will be several years, with added risks in prison. This is why you must be mindful when using the dark web. Purchasing illegal items, especially weapons and drugs, can lead to severe consequences.
You May Lose Your Money
Another way people can misuse the dark web is by using it to purchase cheaper items such as stolen branded bags. This is a common feature that encourages many people to reach the dark net. However, most sites that offer such items are fake on this web.
The site may show you a good collection of products so that you may place an order. After placing the order, you will be required to pay the full amount in advance. This is because dark websites don’t offer cash-on-delivery options.
Once you pay for the site, you may never receive the delivery because the platform may be scamming people. This is a common issue that most dark users face when buying from an unreliable platform on the dark web. The worst part of such scamming is that you cannot report it to the police.
This is because you will have to explain why you were trying to buy stolen products from the dark net in the first place. The law enforcement agency may also charge you with a fine for the act, which can cause you even further loss of money.
Another thing you must remember is that reporting the financial scam may not be fruitful because, most of the time, police officials are not able to locate the offenders due to dark web anonymization.
Dark Web Links May Infect Your Device
You may misuse the dark web by opening links that allow you to download illegal pirated stuff. Many people misuse the internet by using the dark web to download movies through torrents. Copyrighted books are also available on this web.
Remember, downloading pirated content is a crime using torrent, so you may be charged with a fine if law enforcement agencies find out. This is a common problem associated with copyrighted content.
Meanwhile, you may also end up leaking your private data to dark web sites. This is because many sites on the web offer file downloads so that they can install remote malware on your device. The malware can help them access your laptop’s settings and files on it.
Some dark web links may also install monitoring ransomware on your device that allows them to turn on your webcam remotely. They can record you and blackmail you for money. The worst part is that once your data is leaked on the dark net, it will be extremely difficult to remove it from every corner.
So, while you may think of misusing the dark web for pirated downloads, the site developers may be steps ahead of you in misusing your need for the content.
Exposure To Disturbing Content
The dark web is a major haven for explicit content that can disturb your mental health. You may not be using this part of the internet for viewing such content, but you may want to misuse the web by surfing suspicious or illegal sites.
For example, you may open a website to stream original Netflix content online for free. The dark web sites that you may open for such activity may be fake and direct you to disturbing videos on another site when you click the episode number or movie to play.
The site may also show you such content without redirecting you to another platform. For instance, a movie such as “Barbie” on the site may encourage you to press the play button. However, once the clip starts playing, it may not be the official film but an explicit video.
Some platforms that you may open for misusing the dark web may also work by using ads that can interrupt your activity on the site, such as watching content or reading books. The worst part about these explicit ad prompts may be that you cannot hide them like you do with Google Ads.
Watching a disturbing video such as animal abuse or child pornography even once can affect your mental health significantly. It may even trigger past trauma that you are trying to overcome.
This is why it is important to not misuse the dark web for pirated streaming or books. You can keep yourself safer by opening links to official sites such as Tor Facebook, BBC Tor, and much more.
These platforms will allow you to surf the web anonymously without running into legal and other problems.
It May Lead To Career Damage
One of the worst things that can happen to you when using the dark web for malicious purposes is that your data may be vulnerable to hacks. This is especially true if you use the dark net in your office or on your work device.
Opening unprotected and suspicious sites on the dark internet may allow cybercriminals to infect your device easily. They can steal your office files and sell them on the dark web to earn easy money. So, you may be indirectly contributing to corporate espionage.
Remember that the company will find out when their data leaks due to dark web monitoring tools that most businesses use. They may even figure out that the information was leaked from your device because office devices are connected to company servers.
Once the higher members of your workplace get to know about your involvement, it can affect your professional reputation severely. The company may file a lawsuit against you for purposely leaking information.
Even if your bosses understand that the data was stolen through a hack, you may still get fired for using the dark internet on your work devices. Remember, using the dark web is not a crime, but many people still consider it illegal due to ethical reasons.
The company may perceive your moral values to be compromised, which is why they may not want you as an employee. The word can also get about your mistake, which can affect your chances of getting a new job. This is why misusing the dark net can damage your career.
You May Lose Your Family
Using the dark internet to bypass censorship restrictions in your region is also a form of misuse. For example, you may be using a discussion forum on the web to share your controversial opinions and other thoughts. Remember, such sites may monitored by the government, so you may get arrested if the officers find out your name and address.
Meanwhile, you may even misuse the dark web for watching child pornography. These sites are plentiful on this part of the internet, but they are also penetrable. This means they can be monitored by the government or hacked by cybercriminals.
If the latter occurs, then your username and other login details may be compromised. Many hacktivist groups take down questionable sites and reveal the details of people who were using the platform on the surface internet for everyone to see.
Remember, if your family sees the posts that reveal you were watching child pornography, it may affect your relations significantly. Many couples even divorced because of their spouse’s questionable activities.
A prime example of such an information reveal is the takedown of Lolita City by Anonymous. The hacktivist group Anonymous hacked Lolita City, which engaged in distributing child pornography content and took the site down. They shared a list of the usernames of people who used the platform.
This is why you must be careful when misusing dark web sites. Your identity can be revealed even if you don’t put your real name on the web because of IP address and other techniques.
Some hackers may also target discussion groups and reveal chats of users. Many families get broken up when they see their members sharing controversial thoughts on the internet and supporting wrong things or people.
It May Put Your Life Or Your Family Member’s Life In Danger
Misusing the dark net for trading illegal goods can affect you negatively in many ways. You may put your life in danger because the government may be planning a crackdown against your site. In such cases, the FBI may blast your home with guns using an official arrest order.
They may even shoot you if you try to resist the arrest, which can put your life in danger. Your family members may also get hurt in the crossfire. Besides, this is not the only way your personal life will be affected.
If news channels cover the story of the crackdown, your family details may be leaked. Some aggressive people or neighbors may even hurt your family members, especially those who may have been affected negatively by your trading.
For example, if you misused the dark net for selling drugs, someone may have died because of an overdose. Upon learning that it was you who sold the drugs, the grieved family members may try to hurt you or your family members.
Another occurrence case of this problem is when you’re trying to blackmail someone powerful using the dark net. The individual may locate you through advanced tools or with the help of cybercriminals. They may even try to kill you if the blackmail content may upend their life.
You May Get Involved With Terrorists
The dark internet is a major spot for terrorists due to its anonymity features. You may end up on the web to join a discussion forum against a political leader of your country. While many countries support freedom of speech, this may not be true for your region.
In that case, you will be misusing the dark web by breaking censorship and other laws. However, this is not the worst part. The worst thing is that the discussion forum may be run by terrorists.
Many terrorist groups use discussion forums as a front to plot conspiracies and coordinate events without raising suspicion. If you end up on such a discussion forum, you can expose yourself to significant risk. Unknowingly, you may end up increasing dissent in your country.
If government officials find out about the forum, they may use advanced tools to learn more about its members. They may also plant an insider for authentic evidence. Remember, everyone involved in the forum will be treated as a criminal by the law enforcement agency.
This means you may get a “terrorist” label without any direct participation. It may also be difficult to prove your innocence in a court because your controversial opinions can be used against you.
Landing in legal trouble because of the dark net is a piece of cake, which is why you must avoid misusing the web. Avoid joining discussion forums remotely related to political content to keep yourself safe. Instead, you can use sites that allow you to discuss your hobbies, favorite books, and much more.
How Much Prison Time You Will Have To Serve For Misusing The Dark Web?
The prison time for every crime is different because of their severity and other factors. Most people who misuse the dark net mainly do so by running illegal marketplaces or phishing scams.
So let’s see the charges and prison time you may face when misusing the dark internet for such things:
Trading Drugs Through The Dark Net
You may want to sell drugs to make easy money on the side while doing an office job. Someone may also ask you to be the middleman for their drug distribution business. Whatever the case, misusing the dark net in this way will always land you in prison if you get caught.
The worst part about selling drugs via the dark net is that you will be sending the delivery through a courier mailing service. Because of this, the crime will turn into a federal charge, which has severe consequences. Selling some drugs may get you an imprisonment time of five years.
Meanwhile, other substances may cause you to spend 10 or 20 years in jail as a first offense. The exact time will mainly depend on the class of the drug you are selling. It will also be affected by the quantity you have sold.
For example, a dark net dealer who sold heroin to 1,600 people was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in the US. The dark net offers protection to drug marketplaces, but it does not offer 100% immunity.
Another prime example of this is the Silk Road takedown. This was also a drug marketplace that was famous on the dark internet. However, it was taken down by the US government.
Distributing Child Po*nography
Many people use the dark internet to distribute child po*nography or advertise sites that promote this activity. If you use the dark net for such reasons, you may get into deep trouble.
Some people believe that they commit specific crimes without much legal trouble because first-time offenders can get off easy. However, this is not true when it comes to child pornography distribution.
Even if you’re a first-time offender, the court may sentence you to sex offender probation, but you will still have to serve about five years in prison. Meanwhile, the punishment can increase up to 15 years of prison time or more. You can also be charged with a fine of up to $10,000.
The main reason behind the high prison time and fine value are that distributing child p*rnography is a second-degree felony. You may think the dark internet will protect you from getting caught, but that is not true.
A dark net facilitator of this activity was sentenced to 27 years of imprisonment. Once the offender is released, he will still be on probation for the entirety of his life.
Many people embezzle funds from their workplaces and use the dark internet to clean that money. Your reasons may vary, but the overall consequences of money laundering are severe. Even if you use a Bitcoin mixer to make your funds untraceable, you may still get caught by the FBI or other law enforcement agencies.
If you commit the crime at the state level, your punishment may be up to six years. However, federal charges can land you in prison for 20 years or more. You may also be sentenced to pay a hefty fine along with jail time.
Law enforcement agencies may track you through your transaction flow or by getting the records of the Bitcoin mixer you used for money laundering. You may also be charged with other crimes, especially if you embezzled the money or ran an illegal marketplace to earn those funds.
For example, a dark site operator was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for drug trafficking and money laundering a few years ago. So, no matter how careful you are, you can still get caught while misusing the dark net.
Running A Site That Connects People To Illegal Marketplaces
Running an illegal marketplace is not the only way to misuse the dark net. If you connect people to suspicious sites or illegal marketplaces on this web, you will be facilitating the crime. This is a punishable offense that can get you several years of jail time.
Your site may also get hacked by cybercriminals and taken down. For example, the Hidden Wiki used to have many child pornography site links in its directory. That is why it was once hacked by a group that wanted to eliminate such content.
Such hackers may also send information to the FBI or other agencies to get you arrested. This is why you must be mindful of the content you post when running a dark site.
A few years ago, an owner of a news site on the dark net was arrested and punished with eight years of jail time. The platform owner used his site to connect people to illegal marketplaces for drugs, weapons, and other goods. For this facilitation, the site owners were paid in Bitcoin by the owners of the illegal marketplace.
Misusing the dark internet can land you in prison, or your data may be leaked on the surface internet. This is why you must be mindful of your activity on this web. Avoid running illegal businesses or promoting suspicious marketplaces to keep yourself safe.
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