The dark web continues to spread, but still in 2015 not a day goes by without a sensationalist article screaming about the horrors of a space apparently beyond the reach of investigators, where the most depraved parts of humanity reside.

The truth, naturally, is a lot more nuanced. While illicit marketplaces continue to garner attention, this year the dark web has also entered into another stage and gained recognition as a tool with legitimate purposes too.

Here’s a wrap-up of what really went down on the dark web over the past 12 months.

Silk Road Continued to Hit Headlines

Over two years after the shutdown of the original dark web marketplace Silk Road, the site continues to make headlines.

In May, we saw the conclusion of the trial of Ross Ulbricht, who was convicted of all seven counts against him, including narcotics conspiracy, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and money laundering conspiracy. Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison for his role in Silk Road, although his defence is appealing the decision.

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