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DOJ Discusses Dark Web Legal Concerns in New Document

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The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Cybersecurity Unit has published a document that addresses the legality of certain intelligence-gathering approaches. The unit tackled methods that utilize online "dark web" forums where contributors discuss computer crimes and sell illegally obtained data, DOJ said.

Organizations that intend to access these forums may do so in a legal manner by using credentials that do not steal the identities of other people. Forum operators would provide these legitimate credentials. The use of stolen credentials and other unauthorized means may violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other related roles.

Private entities may conduct intelligence gathering in these forums, but may be subject to illegal concerns if they take part in dark web activities. Dark web forums also feature services that are considered illegal. Illegal offerings include stolen passwords, credit card accounts and other means of unauthorized information access.