The majority of internet content – as much as 96 percent – exists beyond the reach of your Google searches in a place known as the “dark net.” This hidden part of the web, which is not indexed by standard search engines and browsers, serves as a haven for criminals and cyberterrorists, but also provides an important tool for democracy activists and journalists. Is it possible to police bad actors without destroying a powerful option for those with legitimate reasons to operate with anonymity? Gabriel Weimann is on the cutting edge of exploring and understanding what lies beneath the surface of the internet. He discusses the many misconceptions about this vast area of digital activity in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Read the full report: Going Darker: The Challenge of Dark Net Terrorism


Gabriel Weimann is a Full Professor of Communication at the Department of Communication at Haifa University, Israel. His research interests include the study of media effects, political campaigns, new media technologies and their social impact, persuasion and influence, media and public opinion, modern terrorism and the mass media. His most recent book, Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation, was based on research he conducted at the Wilson Center and was published by Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Columbia University Press in 2015. He has published many other books, including Communicating Unreality (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2000); The Influentials: People Who Influence People (State University of New York Press, 1995); The Theater of Terror (New York: Longman, 1994); Hate on Trial (Toronto: Mosaic, 1986); The Singaporean Enigma (Jerusalem: Tzivonim, 2001); Terror on the Internet (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2006); Freedom and Terror (London: Routledge, 2011); and Social Research in Israel (Jerusalem: Tzivonim). His papers and research reports (7 monographs and more than 160 publications), have been published in scientific journals and books. He received numerous grants and awards from international foundations and was a Visiting Professor at various universities including University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Hofstra University, American University DC, University of Maryland, Lehigh University (USA), University of Mainz (Germany), Carleton University (Canada) and the National University of Singapore. 


John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming.