Actually, the Darknet is a secret place in the vastness of the Internet – with a strong tendency towards illegality. Weapons and drugs are traded there. Pedophiles frequent there too. Yes, even if many businesses are prohibited – the Darknet itself is not.
Nevertheless, it is surprising that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the US foreign intelligence service, has had a presence there since 2019. It can be reached via the so-called Tor browser, which is perhaps the best-known anonymization software.
And via the dark web one now wants to reach dissidents of the Putin regime or simply critics of the Russian warlord. In a Facebook post, the US secret service writes that it wants to offer people who feel compelled by the Russian government’s unjustified war to contact the CIA a safe way to do so. “Our global mission requires individuals to be able to securely reach the CIA from anywhere.”
An anonymous CIA official told Der Spiegel his agency knows there are “concerned Russians desperate to reach the CIA.” However, the official declined to say how many people from Russia have contacted the CIA since the beginning of the war. Due to a lack of security, it is not safe to contact Americans directly by phone or over the Internet. “To contact Americans in Russia directly, neither physically nor virtually,” the official emphasized, referring to the CIA’s offer, which can be controlled with the Tor browser.