An internet realm known as the dark web was once promoted as a safe haven for political dissidents and libertarians worldwide, and financed partly by the State Department. But it has turned into a criminal cesspool.
Rogue hackers sell stolen credit card information there, and gun runners peddle every variety of weapon. Paedophiles and malware merchants lurk in its confines alongside opioid dealers and human traffickers.
What happens on the dark web is so ugly that cybersecurity firms that comb its data routinely share the information with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.