Close to the heels of Russia trying everything in its capacity to make bitcoin illegal in the country, the French Minister for Interior Affairs is not targeting the darknet. Freedom of choice and free speech have become rare commodities these days and even in those small pockets where one can find it is being targeted by the governments across the world.
Be it the United States government passing laws that conveniently erases the right to privacy from the constitutional rights of the citizens or the Russian government’s attempts to ban bitcoin or Venezuela trying to show bitcoin in a bad light by using state sponsored media for propaganda. The motive seems to be the same everywhere.
In a recent National Assembly meeting, the French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve mentioned that the deepweb is extensively being used by the terrorists. He was quoted saying that the terrorists who have been striking in the Europe are encrypted messages and darknet. His comments were connected to Bitcoin, the digital currency that is widely used in the deepweb marketplaces where collecting money for goods without divulging complete personal details during the transaction is virtually impossible.
Deepweb, the unindexed part of the internet which makes up for almost the whole internet except for those sites that are indexed by search engines has been there for a long time, even before search engines became a norm. However, only in the recent days did the term deepweb and darknet was labelled as the place for illegal activities on the internet. The Silk Road online darknet marketplace was mainly responsible for this negative connotation as it gained notoriety by selling illegal drugs and contraband for bitcoin. Since then, Silk Road has been shut down and its creator jailed as a result of a federal investigation into its activities.
Deepweb is not easily accessible without having a direct link to the site or certain anonymizing software like the Tor Package. Not many people have the understanding of the deepweb or darknet either. There have been isolated cases of the deepweb used for illegal purposes, but given the number of internet users across the world, it is a very small percentage. A combination of ignorance and negative publicity has successfully created a bad image for the deepweb.
For governments anxious about losing their control over information sharing and monetary system is using these few incidents as an excuse to crack down on bitcoin and deepweb.