Cyber Influence Campaigns in the Dark Web

PI: Lev Topor and Pnina Shuker

In recent years there has been a significant rise in the scope and intensity of information wars between the great powers and other forces in the international arena, and influence campaigns have become a legitimate tool in the hands of politicians, propagandists, and global powers. In this context, the professional literature has focused most on campaigns on social networks while it has almost ignored similar campaigns in the Dark Web where the current research tends to focus on criminal activity. The Dark Web was developed by the American Navy for intelligence purposes and was then promoted by the West as a public tool to protect privacy and anonymity. Today it provides fertile ground for deliberate leaks by countries that do not wish to publish certain information in the traditional media. These leaks are perceived as authentic, leading the media and other intelligence organizations to swallow the bait and investigate, and in some cases they even change their operations accordingly. The purpose of this article is to present the way in which the Dark Web is used in influence campaigns, particularly through deliberately leaking information.  ... Read More in the PDF FIle.