(RightWing.org) – Leading Republicans have been pushing for an end to Section 230 protections and better regulation of the internet for years. Inversely, their Democratic counterparts continue bowing down to the World Wide Web’s supremacy as a digital version of the Wild West. Meanwhile, a chilling story from the Netherlands shows the danger of allowing children unrestrained access to the Dark Web.
On July 23, the Daily Mail published an exposé detailing the misadventures of an eight-year-old boy on the internet. His mother, Barbara Gemen, told the British periodical that her son managed to purchase a high-powered assault-style rifle on the Dark Web. She said he discovered where to buy the weapon through forums.
Her son, who is now grown, used code words to mask his cyber activities. Gemen said he started his misadventures on the Dark Web after getting involved with online criminals in a game by taking small steps, like ordering a pizza online without paying. However, he quickly graduated to using the games as a cover for money laundering operations.
Gemen recounted her horror at discovering a transport service delivered an AK-47 to her home. She said her son was extremely “excited” to have pulled off the feat. According to her, the Dark Web site routed the package through Bulgaria and Poland to avoid discovery by customs services. She promptly turned the dangerous firearm over to the police, who decided not to file charges against the boy.
For those unfamiliar with the term, the Dark Web refers to a portion of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines. To access it, users must use special software like the Tor Browser, a system developed by the US Naval Research Lab to provide anonymity to web surfers. As a result of its secretive structure, the Dark Web has become a hot spot for illegal activities like the AK-47 purchase by Gemen’s son.
The FBI recently launched a multinational operation targeting Dark Web markets. So far, it has seized more than $50 million worth of potentially lethal drugs. Likewise, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency monitors Dark Web activities, and the IRS recently announced the creation of a multi-agency task force focusing on drug marketplaces and digital currency crimes.
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