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Who Are The Main Dark Web Users & Why Do They Use It A Lot?




The dark web is the part of the internet that is accessible through special browsers. People from different fields use it legally and illegally. You may also be thinking of using dark web links.

Before navigating the dark net, it is important to understand its overall users. Knowing why these people use dark web links will also help you make an informed decision about using this web.

So let’s dive into the world of dark net users and why they use this part of the internet.

Who Are The Primary Dark Web Users?

  1. Cybercriminals

More than 65% of the dark web users engage in phishing activities. This is a type of cybercriminal activity that many people become victims of on the dark internet.

Cybercriminal users are prevalent on the dark internet because a high number of people use this web. That is why finding victims is easier on the dark internet.

There are different types of cybercriminal users on the dark web. Some people engage in phishing scams, while others put remote malware on different devices.

The primary purpose of cybercriminals is to extort money or data from their victims. Most criminals plant malware to steal data from the victim’s device and use it to blackmail them for money.

Meanwhile, large-scale cybercriminals may involve you in a corporate espionage scheme by stealing your work data. They may sell that information to your company’s competitors.

The criminal may start a data auction to sell the information to the highest bidder. They may also have been hired by a specific competitor to steal your project information.

Whatever the case, the main purpose of cybercriminals on dark web links is to engage in illegal activities.

Who Are The Primary Dark Web Users

  1. Whistleblowers

Another group of people that is common on the dark web is whistleblowers. A whistleblower is a person who reveals information about wrongdoing conducted by a public or private entity.

For example, an employee who reveals information about illegal activity within their workplace to police is called a whistleblower. Such people should be rewarded for their honesty, but in all industries, a whistleblower is frowned upon.

This is why people don’t usually come forward about illegal activities they have seen at their workplace. The dark web is gradually becoming a safe haven for such people because of its anonymization mechanisms.

There are many sites on the Tor such as SecureDrop which allow whistleblowers to reveal information while maintaining their safety. The dark net also has sites that allow a person to expose crimes even if they die in the process.

For instance, if you want to send a mail containing sensitive content to the authorities, dark web links may let you schedule it. The app may also require you to log in at a specific time to ensure the message is not sent.

Because of these apps, the number of whistleblowers on the dark net is significantly high.

  1. Government Organizations

You may believe that government organizations don’t use the dark web because it is illegal. However, that is a misconception. This part of the internet may be hidden, but it is legal to use.

Of course, the legality of dark web links also depends on their usage. Many government organizations use the dark internet to save sensitive information easily.

For example, the CIA has an official Tor version to get anonymous tips from people. Government agencies can also communicate with their teams through the dark internet.

The CIA isn’t the only intelligence agency that uses the dark net. Probably intelligence agencies from all countries do it. It makes it easier for undercover officers to take orders and carry out all other communications as well.

Using the dark net for communication during special operations offers better safety. That is because it is difficult to interfere with government communications on this web.

Some agencies also use the dark internet to create bait to capture high-profile criminals. For example, a law enforcement agent may buy drugs from a famous market on the dark web in order to lure the dealer out.

This may allow them to set up an in-person delivery meeting with the seller and apprehend them easily. Because of its usage versatility, the dark internet has a high number of government users. The dark web is also crucial in trying to get information on terrorist hideouts and spies from other countries.

The dark net may be used by security and intelligence agencies as a secure and private network but that does not mean that they don’t get any competition. If two countries don’t get along then they can also get involved in a cyber war on the dark net.  So intelligence agencies don’t just use the dark web for intelligence activities but also for counterintelligence operations.

  1. Political Activists

A political activist is a person who is actively participating in campaigns to target political or social issues. People falling under this category are prevalent on the dark internet due to various reasons.

The dark web has multiple discussion forums that allow activists to talk about different issues without any interference. Everyone can share their opinions and develop legal plans to approach social issues.

Activists who mainly use the dark web are from countries with strict government surveillance. These include Russia, China, Brazil, and much more. Many of these countries block news sites and discussion forums in their regions.

This is why citizens have to resort to using the dark net to get news that is readily available in other countries. Some activists also call themselves freedom fighters especially when they are raising their voices for a noble cause.

Most political activists on the dark net are mainly from China and the Middle East. However, the number of people from other countries is also rising due to different restrictions.

  1. Drug Sellers And Buyers

Many crimes occur on the dark net daily such as phishing scams, data stealing, weapon sales, and much more. Despite that, the most common crime in 2024 on the dark net is drug selling.

This is why drug sellers are the primary users of this part of the internet. In the last few decades, many drug markets on the dark net have been taken down. These include Hydra Market, Silk Road, and much more.

There are different types of drug sellers on the dark internet. Some are individual sellers who are running a small-scale business. Besides that, large-scale drug markets with proper teams have also been set up.

The large-scale markets are mainly operational internationally. Some markets also combine their operations to run a joint drug business. Whichever directory you use to navigate the dark net, you will most often encounter drug-selling sites.

Many drug cartels have also started using the dark net to communicate with their partners and to streamline their drug distribution processes. Since there are so many drug-selling platforms on the web, the other major half of dark users include drug buyers. Many people visit this web mainly to purchase items such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and more.

  1. Abuse And Discrimination Victims

As regular citizens, we always criticize abuse and discriminate against victims when they speak up for their rights. Some people question why they didn’t say anything early, while others blame them for their incidents.

The surface web is also not a reliable place for such victims because it is easy to get posts taken down here. However, that is not true for the dark internet.

This is why many abuse and discrimination victims account for dark users. Such people create discussion forums to help others like them. They also raise their voices on platforms where their statements will not be suppressed.

If you’ve suffered from abuse or discrimination, you may also use the dark internet to bring your story to light.

  1. News Readers

There are many people on the dark internet who use this web for daily news reading. Some platforms such as BBC are not available in every region due to censorship laws.

A country may also ban a specific news channel that it feels is projecting its region in a negative light. Regardless of the reason, people don’t like their news being filtered or controlled by other parties.

This is why they end up on Tor to access different articles without any restrictions. News sites such as BBC also have dark versions to cater to their dark net audience.

  1. Investigative Journalists

Another major group that uses the dark net is that of investigative journalists. As previously mentioned dark net is a great place for whistleblowers to share information while staying anonymous. This also means that investigative journalists can use the dark net to communicate with whistleblowers so that they can bring the respective topic to light. This helps to keep the identity of the whistleblower safe and the investigative journalist gets the material they are after from such a strong source.

In addition to communicating with whistleblowers, the investigative journalists can also find documents and research material that may be of help to them. There are copies of official documents, dossiers and other material on the dark net that can aid in exposing corruption and other types of wrongdoings.

  1. Rare Art And Book Collectors

If you know anything about art then you know that there have been many instances in the past where high quality artwork has been stolen from museums and even private collections. Have you ever wondered why people steal artwork and what happens with it afterwards when authorities are looking for it?

As the authorities are searching for it, the people who stole the art pieces wouldn’t be able to sell it at any gallery. Transferring it from one place to the other without damaging the artwork would also be a challenge. This is why the thieves sell the stolen artwork on the dark net. Unfortunately, there are many passionate art lovers on the dark net who are ready to pay a huge sum of money to get their hands on those rare art pieces.

In the same way, there are book lovers who would pay any sum of money to purchase a rare book from the dark net. There are entire book stores on the dark net where you can find pirated books, eBooks and original versions of rare books. These rare art and book markets on the dark net are what make them a hot spot for passionate collectors.

  1. Dangerous Criminals and Terrorists

People who are looking to get involved in some dangerous activities also visit the dark net regularly. Firstly there are terrorists who not only use the dark net for anonymous communication but they also use it to buy weapons, launder money, and carry out other criminal activities. Then there are people who are looking to hire contractors or hitmen for their dirty tasks.

One of the worst people you can find on the dark net is child abusers and the one of the worst things that you can find on the dark net is child pornography. The authorities are working day and night to destroy such content from the dark net and to catch those responsible. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to completely stop such material from appearing on the dark net. This is what makes child abusers a big portion of dark net users.

These are some of the main users of the dark net however there are also people who visit the dark net just for the sake of it. They want to see why is it labelled as a mysterious part of the internet. Even though the proportion of such curious people is very large, only a small percentage of those people actually visit the dark net.

Can These Main Dark net Users Be Held Accountable for Accessing the Dark Net?

The main dark net users are of different types. Some are involved in good things while others are involved in mild bad things and then there are those that are involved in downright unforgivable activities. People who use the dark net for wrong things should always be held accountable and punished. However, it should be noted that just accessing the dark net isn’t a reason enough to hold someone accountable.

Using the dark net is legal in most countries so even if you surf the dark net every day you can’t be held accountable until the authorities find something against you. However, it should be noted that if you visit the dark net often the authorities might start tracking your activity, not just online but in the real world as well. So you should never get involved in criminal activities on the dark net and you should never visit it without any justified reason.

Why Do the Main Dark net Users Use the Dark net A Lot?

There are many features of the dark internet that encourage people to use it. Here are some reasons why the earlier mentioned people use the dark net often:

  1. To Enjoy Anonymity

The top reason why anyone uses the dark net is its anonymity features. When you use Tor, your IP address and online activity are protected from unnecessary surveillance. The different encryption layers of the program make it difficult for external parties to tap into your connection.

Why Do the Main Dark net Users Use the Dark net A Lot

A survey has also revealed that 70% of dark users use this web for anonymity. Using additional security programs such as VPN and antivirus apps also makes dark internet navigation secure.

That is why many people prefer to use this web over the surface web. Another great feature that adds to anonymity on the dark net is that websites don’t ask for your details. If you want to join a discussion forum, you will not have to use your personal email for it.

It will also not be necessary to reveal your personal address when setting up a social profile on the dark internet. Abuse victims, political activists, and discrimination victims highly benefit from these features.

Even whistleblowers consider the dark net to be their safe haven because it protects their identity. This means they have to worry less about losing their lives because of doing the right thing.

  1. Access To Extensive Services

The dark internet offers people access to extensive services. As a drug addict, you can visit sites that help you buy more drugs easily through the dark net. If you want to recover from your addiction, the web has many anonymous support platforms.

Besides that, the dark internet also offers access to apps that are not available on the surface web. For instance, you can use whistleblowing platforms that keep your identity protected during communications.

The web also has sites that allow you to store sensitive files on the cloud with little risk of your account getting hacked. These features are mainly helpful to whistleblowers, undercover government agents, and journalists.

There are also Tor versions of government sites where dark users can leave tips. The best thing is that all these services do not require your identity and keep your IP addresses hidden.

So the dark net combines anonymity and access flexibility features in one package. This is why it has a high number of overall users.

  1. No Censorship Restrictions

People also use the dark web often because it does not have censorship restrictions. News sites that may be blocked in your region will always be available to view on the dark internet. This is why activists and discrimination victims often land on this web.

Many official news channels such as the Guardian also have Tor versions to help people all over access their articles without restrictions. You can also send stories to these channels that they can run on their Tor site to avoid takedowns.

This is especially true if you’re voicing injustices by a powerful party. The best thing is that the lack of censorship restrictions is also helpful to those who run illegal sites on the dark internet.

People who run sites with proactive content don’t have to worry about their platforms being taken down. This sort of flexibility is not available on the surface web.

  1. Easy Access To Criminal Markets

The dark web provides easy access to a vast range of criminal markets and illegal commodities, which is a major attraction drawing users in.

Unlike the surface web, the dark web allows users to conceal their identity and location through encrypted browsers like Tor and cryptocurrency payments like Bitcoin.

This enables underground forums, marketplaces, and messaging systems dedicated purely to criminal trade and services to thrive.

For instance, dark web markets peddling narcotics, weapons, forged documents, and pirated media operate freely, with sellers marketing their illicit wares and buyers able to order seamlessly from anywhere in the world.

The transactions occur entirely anonymously via crypto payments and dead-drop shipping techniques. Such markets enable organized cybercrime rings and drug cartels to tap global demand. Similarly, users can readily hire hackers for illegal services from DDoS attacks to identity theft.

The dark web also facilitates communication channels for criminals ranging from secret chat forums to hosting criminal tutorials and technical discussions around executing cyberattacks.

Such easy access to criminal markets attracts many surface internet users to the dark web.

Get Their ,Hands On Material That Is Not Available On The Dark Web

One of the main reasons that people visit the dark web is to get access to restricted research papers, books and other material that may not be readily available on the surface web.

It is usually people who are involved in academics or investigative journalists who are trying to find documents that they know they can only find on the dark net.

Final Words

These are some of the main user groups on the dark web. The dark web provides high anonymity which is why most of the dark web users access it for criminal activities. However, there are also some main users like whistleblowers and investigative journalists who use it for the greater good.


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