Law enforcement continues to tackle information online considered to be dangerous, with bomb manuals the subject of a new operation.
As internet access shifted from a luxury made possible through dial-up to something akin to a human right in many countries, the web became a catalyst for new, innovative business models, e-commerce, new means of communication, and a critical channel for education – especially useful during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
However, when it comes to education and e-commerce, law enforcement worldwide has taken different stances on what is considered allowable, and some topics, guides, and trading posts become the subjects of investigations and, in some cases, seizures or takedowns.
Underground marketplaces, including AlphaBay, Silk Road, DarkMarket, and more recently, CanadianHQ have been shut down by the police. These platforms were used to sell everything from narcotics to weapons and malware.
The debate surrounding the free flow of information online came to a head years ago due to Defense Distributed, created by Cody Wilson. The founder’s website offered blueprints for 3D-printed guns in the public domain, allowing users to ‘print’ their own at home – but US court orders made under international gun trafficking laws were imposed to try and stop the distribution