The Federal Bureau of Investigation has responded to dozens of FOIA requests regarding darknet markets (and one request for files on Cryptocomb) by refusing to confirm or deny the existence of records mentioning them. To support this denial, the Bureau cited FOIA exemption b(7)a, which covers “ongoing proceedings.” In doing so, the Bureau seemed to violate its own GLOMAR response by citing the existence of proceedings it refuses to acknowledge exist.
Three MuckRock users filed FOIA requests from 2013 to 2015 for FBI files on The Tor Project, Inc., the developer of Tor. The software enables (in theory) untraceable access to both the regular internet and a network of websites inaccessible through other browsers, commonly called the “dark web.” Each request returned radically different sets of records, most predating the first request, and all linked only by their lack of substantial information.
Recently released documents detail the federal government's inability to pursue cybercriminals shrouded by the tricky anonymity tools used by the Silk Road marketplace and other darknet sites - tools which are funded in part by the federal government itself. In this particular case, a citizen reported stumbling upon a cache of child pornography while browsing the anonymous Tor network's hidden sites.