The Not So Dark Side of the Darknet: A Qualitative Study

Security Journal (2018). DOI/10.1057/s41284-018-0150-5

17 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019

See all articles by Mihnea Mirea

Mihnea Mirea

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Victoria Wang

University of Portsmouth

Jeyong Jung

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Date Written: July 31, 2018

Abstract

In recent years, the Darknet has become one of the most discussed topics in cyber security circles. Current academic studies and media reports tend to highlight how the anonymous nature of the Darknet is used to facilitate criminal activities. This paper reports on a recent research in four Darknet forums that reveals a different aspect of the Darknet. Drawing on our qualitative findings, we suggest that many users of the Darknet might not perceive it as intrinsically criminogenic, despite their acknowledgement of various kinds of criminal activity in this network. Further, our research participants emphasised on the achievement of constructive socio-political values through the use of the Darknet. This achievement is enabled by various characteristics that are rooted in the Darknetā€™s technological structure, such as anonymity, privacy, and the use of cryptocurrencies. These characteristics provide a wide range of opportunities for good as well as for evil.

Keywords: Darknet, Criminogenic, Anonymity, Privacy, Cryptocurrencies

Suggested Citation

Mirea, Mihnea and Wang, Victoria and Jung, Jeyong, The Not So Dark Side of the Darknet: A Qualitative Study (July 31, 2018). Security Journal (2018). DOI/10.1057/s41284-018-0150-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3363152

Mihnea Mirea

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies ( email )

Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

Victoria Wang (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

Room 5.30
St George's Building
Portsmouth, England PO1 2HY
United Kingdom

Jeyong Jung

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies ( email )

Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

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