Is the Dark Web Legit? The Case of Dark Web Search Engines
Keywords: Dark Web, legitimacy, search engines
For some, the Dark Web is decidedly illegitimate: it is a haven of drug dealers, scammers, thieves, and traders of child abuse images. For others, it is a legitimate protector of free speech, allowing whistleblowers like Edward Snowden to expose government excesses and citizens to debate controversial issues without fear of being monitored. In other words, the Dark Web, I suggest, is going through a trial of legitimacy. Is it legitimate, or not?
This presentation seeks to answer this question by drawing on three theories of legitimacy, proposing a symbolic/material economy of legitimacy, and then exploring the case of Dark Web search engines. I ultimately argue that the economy of legitimacy apparent in Dark Web search can be found in other Dark Web-based practices, including social networking sites, markets, and network protocol development. Therefore, I suggest future lines of Internet research that can explore the Dark Web.
How to Cite
Gehl, R. W. (2016). Is the Dark Web Legit? The Case of Dark Web Search Engines. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 6. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v6i0.8696