The language of legal and illegal activity on the darknet

Leshem Choshen, Dan Eldad, Daniel Hershcovich, Elior Sulem, Omri Abend

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The non-indexed parts of the Internet (the Darknet) have become a haven for both legal and illegal anonymous activity. Given the magnitude of these networks, scalably monitoring their activity necessarily relies on automated tools, and notably on NLP tools. However, little is known about what characteristics texts communicated through the Darknet have, and how well off-the-shelf NLP tools do on this domain. This paper tackles this gap and performs an in-depth investigation of the characteristics of legal and illegal text in the Darknet, comparing it to a clear net website with similar content as a control condition. Taking drug-related websites as a test case, we find that texts for selling legal and illegal drugs have several linguistic characteristics that distinguish them from one another, as well as from the control condition, among them the distribution of POS tags, and the coverage of their named entities in Wikipedia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages4271-4279
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781950737482
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2019 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 28 Jul 20192 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2019
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityFlorence
Period28/07/192/08/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • General Computer Science
  • Linguistics and Language

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