Darknet: Criminals feel safe here

Matthias von Hein

Two high-profile trials stirred up the German public this summer. In both cases, it was about accusations of pedophilia, and the criminals’ tool was the darknet. It turns out that anonymous Internet is evil?

In early August, two high-profile criminal trials on charges of pedophilia started in Germany at once. In both cases, the criminals took advantage of the opportunities of the darknet, the shadow sector of the Internet, which helped them to remain unpunished.

Accusations of pedophilia and connection with the darknet

On August 2, four men accused of creating one of the largest sites for pedophiles, Elysium, appeared before the land court of the city of Limburg. At the time of its discovery in June 2017, more than 90 thousand users were registered on it. Prior to that, the Elysium portal had been operating in the shadow segment of the darknet Internet for six months.

And on August 7, in Freiburg, a verdict was passed at the trial of sexual abuse of a boy who recently turned 10 years old. The child’s mother and her common-law husband were sentenced to long prison terms. The court found it proved that the mother and her roommate not only repeatedly sexually abused the child themselves, but also for two years offered him to men for sex for money through the Elysium portal.

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