What are some deep web porn websites
Law enforcement on the darknetHow the state searches for criminals online
Alexander U. has to go to prison for six years. That was decided by the Karlsruhe Regional Court on Wednesday. The 31-year-old computer science student had run a forum in the so-called Darknet for four years. "No control, everything is allowed!" Promised Alexander U. and created a site on which criminals traded in weapons, among other things. So it came about that the later gunman from Munich, David S., bought a semi-automatic weapon via this website. In July 2016, the then 18-year-old killed nine people in a Munich shopping center. He injured five more.
Alexander U., alias Luckyspax, did not sell this gun to the gunman himself. But: As the operator of the website "Germany in the Deep Web", he made it possible for buyers and sellers to find each other. The Karlsruhe Regional Court convicted him not only of aiding and abetting the arms trade, but also of negligent homicide. Presiding judge Holger Radke said in his judgment:
"The gunman would not have been able to buy the weapon, would not have been able to commit the rampage, if the accused had not let the seller and buyer meet in his forum."
Activities are almost impossible to track on the Darknet
The fight against crime in the so-called Darknet is becoming more and more important for law enforcement authorities. The Darknet can be imagined as a parallel Internet made up of well-hidden and elaborately encrypted websites. Not everything that goes on here is illegal. And yet, it's the part of the internet where criminals trade in illegal weapons, distribute child pornography, and even contract killings. Because: Encryption and anonymization make it almost impossible to track activities in this part of the Internet. Markus Beckedahl, journalist from netzpolitik.org:
"These technologies usually work in such a way that you jump into a dark cloud with a special browser or other software tool, jump from server to server in this dark cloud and come out of this dark cloud somewhere else, so that it is not obvious from which computer with which so-called IP address, i.e. with which identification feature I surf the net. "
The darknet is the area of the Internet that is not searched by search engines such as Google or Bing and that you can only access with special darknet software - for example via the so-called Tor browser. Users of this hidden part of the Internet are those who value their privacy - whistleblowers, journalists, critics of the regime. But criminals also appreciate the anonymity that the Darknet offers.
Use of undercover agents for law enforcement
This is why it is so difficult for law enforcement agencies to solve crimes that are committed on the Darknet. During the oral hearing, SWR journalist Kai Laufen, who observed the proceedings in Karlsruhe that has now ended, learned how the BKA Alexander U., alias Luckyspax, discovered:
"The Federal Criminal Police Office initiated sham deals with undercover investigators in this forum and then, when there was actually a sale of weapons, arrested the seller and negotiated with him that his account could continue to be operated. And with this account, the Federal Criminal Police Office did The equivalent of 10 euros in the form of Bitcoin. When Alexander U., the operator of the forum, asked for donations. Bitcoin can actually be traced back to the moment when someone tries to use it in real money, in euros, to exchange. Alexander U. did that and he was identified with it. "
When trying to exchange Bitcoin for real money, Alexander U. alias Luckyspax could be identified. (imago | AFLO)
In most cases, the just described use of undercover agents is the only chance to investigate crimes on the Darknet, reports Andreas May. He has been head of the Hessian Central Office for Internet Crime, or ZIT for short, a special unit of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Frankfurt am Main for ten years.
Destroyed child pornography platform Elysium
The latest success of ZIT is the discovery and dismantling of the darknet platform Elysium. When the BKA and ZIT seized the server in a car repair shop, the Internet forum was one of the largest child pornography platforms in the world. More than 110,000 users clicked through a huge archive of photos and videos.
The operators of Elysium have also had to answer to the Limburg regional court for a few months. The prosecutor accuses the four defendants of gang-like distribution and possession of child pornography. It is the first indictment in Germany against a group of perpetrators on suspicion of operating a child pornography platform on the Darknet.
As is often the case, inspector chance played a role in the investigation, reports Andreas May from the Hessian Central Office for Internet Crime. Here it was the case that when uploading profile pictures, there was a connection to the normal Internet for a brief moment and therefore the IP address of the server was visible to the investigators.
"And so an IP address appeared several times and the IP address just pointed to a workshop in Bad Camberg. It was simply a bug in the forum software. The forum software did not work in this one small area under Tor."
Undercover investigators are not allowed to commit any criminal offenses in Germany
In the Elysium case, too, the investigators had covertly gained access to the platform. Your luck in this case: unlike on many other pedophile platforms, there was no obligation to post. Otherwise the investigators would have reached their limits here. Many forums demand a so-called chastity test: They require their users to upload child pornographic material themselves. This is how they want to protect themselves against uninvited guests from the police. Because in Germany the distribution of so-called child pornographic writings is prohibited. There is no exception for the investigators: they would be liable to prosecution if they uploaded such material.
The justice ministers of the federal states also dealt with the problem at their spring conference this year. You have advocated that law enforcement officers should at least use computer-generated material to gain access to the relevant forums.
For several months now, the operators of the Elysium platform have had to answer to the Limburg regional court for the distribution and possession of child pornography. (dpa)
So far, German police officers and public prosecutors have often worked with other countries in cases in which a so-called chastity test is required, in which this type of undercover investigation is also allowed. This was the case, for example, with the previous Elysium forum. On the platform "The giftbox exchange", unlike Elysium, there was a compulsory posting, so that the responsible Bavarian investigators did not get any further. Andreas May from the Central Office for Internet Crime:
"They then gave this account back to the Australian authorities, so to speak, and said, now you can use it. In Australia there is the possibility that undercover agents are also allowed to commit crimes. And with this account and the further investigations it was possible to to determine the operator of this platform "giftbox exchange". "
Takeover of the darknet page to identify users
The Australian authorities had previously taken over and continued the platform themselves. A sensitive question that German investigators keep asking themselves: How long should the platform be kept open in order to identify as many users as possible? There is a clear limit for Andreas May:
"So, there's a rule of thumb: if you have a human being, current sexual abuse, honestly, forum investigations don't matter. You may have invested a year or two in that. If it comes to ending current sexual abuse, then you have to get started right away and not wait a day. "
Getting started primarily means shutting down the Darknet site. But sometimes - especially when it comes to offenses other than child pornography - illegal darknet forums are taken over for a certain period of time. This is what happened with the darknet trading marketplace Hansa, which was operated in a joint operation by the FBI, Europol and the Dutch authorities for a month. Hansa was one of the three largest transshipment centers in the world for weapons, drugs and hacker software on the Darknet. The temporary use of the platform enabled tens of thousands of usernames and passwords to be identified. Thousands of investigative proceedings - also in Germany - followed from the knowledge gained.
Darknet marketplaces are similar to the well-known online marketplaces
"Underground economy" is what experts call this form of black market trading on the Internet. Payment is made with digital means of payment, usually Bitcoin. The Darknet marketplaces are amazingly similar in appearance to the well-known online marketplaces, explains Dirk Büchner from the Federal Criminal Police Office.
"There is a bar on the left that says: 'Well, we currently have 260,000 offers of narcotics, 10,000 offers of counterfeit offenses.' Of course, it doesn't say offenses, but fakes or something. Then it says: 'We currently have 400 weapons on offer.' Then there are quite often pictures of the goods that are set, then there are the descriptions of the goods, then there are There are also some hints: 'We only deliver to Germany or only to Europe.' You can find all the hints that are of interest to buyers practically open on the pages on it. "
Most darknet marketplaces have rating systems for sellers. There is even an escrow service for processing payments between seller and buyer: because criminals also want to protect themselves from fraudsters. The escrow procedure is often mandatory and associated with a commission for the marketplace operator. The head of the Hessian Central Office for Internet Crime, Andreas May, knows how this often happens.
“The potential buyer says: 'We have now concluded a deal. I now have 0.01 Bitcoins to pay for a certain number of drugs.' He transfers these Bitcoins to the Bitcoin wallet of the platform operator. He says: 'That The money has arrived, you can send the drugs. 'The seller sends the drugs and the buyer reports:' The drugs have arrived, are also ok 'and then the money is "cashed out", so to speak on the seller's wallet, minus one Retention in the amount of a certain percentage from the operator, who acts as trustee. "
Another way for the operator to make money is even to place advertisements. This was the case, for example, with the now closed "Crime Network" page.
"If you wanted to sell drugs there, you had to run banners and those banners were sold by the operator. That is, when you went to the Crime Network homepage, it looked a bit like the sales platforms you know. There Big advertising banners popped up, only that it said, I'm going to say an artificial name "Mickey Mouse's drug shop". And then you could have bought your drugs at this drug shop. "
The classic offerings are drugs, weapons - and data
The range of such marketplaces is wide. In recent times, the trade in counterfeit money in particular has increased. Only recently, the Austrian police caught a 33-year-old who is said to have sold over half a million euros in flowers on the Darknet. The classics on the darknet marketplaces are drugs and weapons, but:
"By far the most stolen identities are offered, of course, stolen data. This is available in the millions. And data of all kinds: whether it is access to sales platforms, whether it is access to accounts, whether it is credit card data."
However, not only the hacked data, but also the hacking tools themselves are offered for sale. Alexander May also lists malware tailored to the individual order. Today's cybercriminals don't even need any special computer skills - everything is for sale. Dirk Büchner from the Federal Criminal Police Office cannot say how great the damage is caused by this so-called "underground economy".
"That is exactly our problem, it cannot be quantified exactly. I doubt that anyone in the world can tell you how big the Darknet is, how many marketplaces there are, how many forums there are. Especially since the whole system is there too is unbelievably flexible. Marketplaces are constantly disappearing and new marketplaces are being added. "
Platform operators are not easy to prosecute legally
The darknet arms dealer, the darknet drug dealer or the person who distributes child pornography here is treated criminally in the same way as in the real world. What is a thorn in the side of the law enforcement officers, however: The operators and administrators of the platforms in question are not so easy to legally get at. Dirk Büchner from the BKA describes the problem:
"Then the lawyers of these administrators tell us if the administrator has not offered anything or has not participated in the business: yes, in the end it is like a flea market organizer and he does not even know what is being sold at the individual stands we say, of course, it gives many people the opportunity to offer and sell things. So far this is not as comprehensible as we would like it to be. "
Büchner receives support from the North Rhine-Westphalian Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach from the CDU. In the summer he had announced a Federal Council initiative to introduce a new criminal offense. According to this, the offering of services in the Darknet is to be punished in the future if it is intended to enable certain particularly dangerous crimes. There are fines or imprisonment sentences of up to ten years. In mid-February, the NRW Minister of Justice Biesenbach wants to present the draft law and introduce it to the Federal Council. The Erlangen-based legal scholar Christian Rückert is very skeptical of such a new regulation.
The North Rhine-Westphalian Justice Minister Peter Biesenbach (CDU) wants to introduce a new criminal offense to restrict trade in the Darknet (imago stock & people)
"However, I cannot see a real criminal liability loophole. If you take a look at what kind of goods are, what kind of goods they are mainly about, then these are mainly narcotics and then those are weapons, then that is for example Counterfeit money and, in some areas, child and youth pornography. And in these areas we already have very broad penal norms that we already have to operate such a platform, if I know what is being traded there and deliberately make it available for brokerage purposes there are already penal norms that, from my point of view, would actually adequately cover this behavior. "
For example, anyone who alone gives someone the opportunity to buy narcotics is already making himself liable to prosecution. Still, law enforcement officers face two problems. The first: Such a further criminal offense is not available for all crimes that can be committed on the Darknet.
And there is another difficulty. As is often the case in criminal law, investigators often have problems proving the criminal offenses to the operators of illegal Darknet platforms. Christian Rückert also admits:
"You have to imagine the platforms in such a way that most of them, when they are running, are operated automatically. This means that these platform operators no longer have to carry out so many actions themselves At the end of the day, it's often about software maintenance. In some cases there is still a division of labor, so there are teams where one is responsible for one area and the other is responsible for the other. And when they are silent, it is sometimes relative difficult IT forensic proof to the operators who exactly committed what action. "
Internet operator convicted of negligent homicide for the first time
In the Karlsruhe case, however, the investigators succeeded: Their evidence convinced the court that Alexander U. knew about the arms and drug trade on his website and at least approved it.
And what's more: The judges also made Alexander U. jointly responsible for the fourteen victims of the Munich rampage. They convicted him of negligent homicide because the weapon used in the rampage was sold through his website.
This is "new legal territory" in Germany - as the judges called their own judgment: For the first time, a website operator has been found guilty of negligent homicide, even though he did not sell the weapon himself. Alexander U.was the undoing that the later gunman from Munich and the seller of the murder weapon came into the business via his website and people later died as a result. The presiding judge Holger Radke said:
"The defendant has a bachelor's degree in computer science and could have done something useful with it."
A clear message from the Karlsruhe judge - not only to Alexander U., but also to other operators of illegal websites. What happens on the darknet can have harsh consequences in the real world. Alexander U. now has a long time to think about it.
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