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French Startup Offers Dark Web Compass, But Not for Everyone

December 31, 2018 / SecurityWeek

For years criminal websites shrouded in secrecy have thrived beyond the reach of traditional search engines, but a group of French engineers has found a way to navigate this dark web -- a tool they don't want to fall into the wrong hands. "We insist on this ability to say 'no'," Nicolas Hernandez, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Networks, says at the company's offices near Lyon, in the heart of France's Beaujolais wine country. He said Aleph refused 30 to 40 percent of licensing requests for its "Google of the dark web," based on reviews by its ethics committee and input from its government clients. Most web users never venture beyond the bounds of sites easily found and accessed with casual web surfing. But people and sites seeking anonymity can hide behind layers of secrecy using easily available software like Tor or I2P.