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Crime on the Dark Web

Challenges for Law Enforcement in Regulating Technological Phenomena

Elin Nia Williams

Criminals are now operating within a rapidly evolving technological landscape, generating unique challenges for law enforcement. Through the lens of broader themes of Law and Social Justice, this article seeks to critically analyse the ever-evolving challenges in regulating technological phenomena. Overall, the dark web embodies a safe haven for criminals by providing multi-layered anonymity and fostering a communal culture amongst users. Moreover, the technologies underpinning both the dark web and cryptocurrencies bring unparalleled challenges when applying the current regulatory framework and confiscation mechanisms in practice. Available countermeasures employed in response are also unfit for purpose due to the lack of wider commitment to proportionality and consistency. Looking forward, we are headed for an even darker future, based on the extent of the challenges posed to law enforcement. Since we are only at the infancy of such technological phenomena, immediate regulatory attention is required to regulate contemporary as well as emerging challenges.

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