Fast forward 20 years, and criminals are the unintended beneficiaries of technology and globalisation. We have prospered from our high-speed, high-tech world, but the criminals have been gifted a digital platform on which to develop their illicit businesses.
Millions of "sickening and depraved" child abuse images will be removed from the internet as part of an international crackdown
The Internet is a vast place. Bigger than anyone, except a computer scientist, can imagine. It's a massive iceberg. What we see via Google and any other search engine is called the Clearnet and is potentially less than two per cent of what's actually out there, buried deep down in the Darknet or Deep Web.
Tor (short for The Onion Router) is software designed to allow someone to remain anonymous when accessing the Internet. It has been around for some time, but for many years was used mainly by experts and enthusiasts. However, Edward Snowden's revelations have resulted in a surge of interest in Tor as more people seek online anonymity.
The speed in growth of the site is testament to people's need for the service it provided. Since its creation in 2011 to its demise in autumn 2013, some $1.2 billion worth of transactions took place. There were some 957,000 registered user accounts.