Dark Internet and Virtual Currency: The New Challenges of Criminal Law

Dr. Walid ben Salah
Associate Professor of Criminal Law – Faculty of Law and Political Science – Tunis Al Manar University


This research examines the challenges posed by the dark Internet and virtual currencies on criminal law. The increasing number of crimes committed through the dark Internet networks, which are not subject to legal rules or regulatory control and are hundreds of times the size of the superficial Internet, has increased the concerns of States and organizations seeking to limit the negative effects of criminal phenomena. This research, also, presents the growing criminal use of the new virtual currencies, especially the “Bitcoin” in the dark Internet transactions, which include the acquisition of arms, drugs and money laundering. The importance of this research stems from the increasing scale of these criminal phenomena on the Internet and international information networks, and the wide range of applications and programs used. This has necessitated the strengthening of States’ legislation and procedures to counter this, as required by international cooperation. The research, also, aims to demonstrate the shortcomings of traditional criminal law mechanisms, their inability to cope with the risks posed by the dark Internet and electronic currencies, and the provision of legal solutions to ensure effective control of cybercrime.
To address these challenges faced by the Criminal Code, the research relied on a descriptive approach to highlight the evolution of these new phenomena and how governments and legislations deal with them. The comparative approach was also adopted in the regulation of cybercrime legislation, with a clear focus on Tunisian and Kuwaiti legislators. The research ended with the recommendation to adopt, promote and develop crime detection and control mechanisms under the inefficiency of traditional investigative means and the need to control virtual exchange platforms.
Keywords: dark Internet, cybercrime, electronic evidence, encrypted currency, information network.

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