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Top darknet resource likely served a subpoena: the canary stopped singing

top-darknet-resource-likely-served-a-subpoena-the-canary-stopped-singing
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Top darknet resource likely served a subpoena: the canary stopped singing

Darknetlive — recognized as one of the top resources for darknet users by the FBI, Europol and the Australian Institute of Criminology — has most likely been served a subpoena.

Darknetlive — a website with a presence on both the deep web and clear net that serves valuable information to those using darknet black markets — has failed to update its warrant canary, which expired on Dec. 1, 2022.

Top darknet resource likely served a subpoena: the canary stopped singing - 1
A screenshot of the Darknetlive canary as of Feb. 3, 2023

Warrant canaries are a tool employed by service providers to legally warn their users when they receive a subpoena despite the law making it illegal to disclose that such a subpoena was received. The canary is much like a bird in a coal mine that sings, reassuring the users with a regularly updated file that lets them know that no subpoena was received.

When the file stops being updated or is removed altogether, a subpoena is likely received. Therefore, data stored or exchanged through the service may be unsafe.

While canaries being updated late is common due to administrator incapacitation or even forgetfulness, this does not appear to be the case. Darknetlive has continued to publish multiple darknet-related news concerning arrests and guides, with the latest article being published on Feb. 1, 2023, so administrator incapacitation is an unlikely explanation.

Top darknet resource likely served a subpoena: the canary stopped singing - 2
Darknetlive homepage screenshot

While simple forgetfulness cannot be ruled out, it is unlikely that a darknet-connected service administrator would forget to update the canary for over two months, a total of 64 days as of press time.

Meanwhile, deep web’s Reddit clone Dread has also been down since Dec. 1, 2022 — removing the most obvious option for investigating the lack of update of the canary.

Top darknet resource likely served a subpoena: the canary stopped singing - 3
Dread’s status page

The developments follow end-of-2022 reports that an international investigation took down two communities and one crypto-powered market dedicated to exchanging child sexual abuse material on the deep web.