As the NCA, FBI and other law enforcement agencies crack down on illegal markets on the deep web, other, seedier areas in the digital shadows remain, as evidenced by one new site I found that involves not drugs, but sex, violence, and ultimately death.
The site, called Cruel Onion Wiki, which I noticed had newly appeared in directories of the deep web, collates links to videos of women killing and torturing animals, usually in a sexualised fashion. From rabbits and cats to even a monkey, a pheasant, and some turtles, the creatures are crushed, sat on, or suffocated, often by fully or semi-nude women.
Some of the titles of the videos include "hamster boob crush," "Buttcrush goose and rabbit," and "crush butt mouse 6." You get the idea. In total, there are 103 videos on the site, most of which have additional mirrors, or backups in case the original files get deleted.
For obvious reasons I have not watched the videos on the site, but to confirm the authenticity of the leaked videos, a Motherboard editor watched a portion of a video that was advertised as a woman crushing a rabbit under her heel. According to the editor, it was real, and it was horrifying.
You must be new to the DarkNet
Judging by the thumbnails, the rest of the footage is graphic as well. One example has pools of blood enveloping around an orange kitten; another involves crushing the animal while the camera is positioned underneath a glass table. One video even has a woman "swallowing pinkies," or baby mice.
An aura of celebrity (of a kind) has emerged around the women taking part, with names—presumably not their real ones—such as Beatrice, Elenora, or Miss Wen featuring on a number of different videos. As is common with mainstream porn, the race of the women is often noted as a feature, with Asian women being particularly popular.
There is also an element of fetishism with the type of shoes the women wear: "Bat under Boots" or "Red Heels Puppy," for example; or if they're not wearing any at all, such as in "barefoot pigeon crush."
Some of the most popular tags for the videos include "Lethalpressure," "Buttcrush," and "Underglass." A search for these terms on the clear web—the part of the internet that can be accessed from normal web browsers—did return some relevant results (so-called crush porn, as it is known, is not exclusive to the deep web).
This probably a far more exhaustive video on the laws around crush porn than you need, but it's not like we're actually going to embed an example.
The site even has its own forum. Here users can post videos, make requests, or provide links to other sites of interest.
One request asks, "Anybody got the Beatrice vid where she crush a rabbit in knee high boots while a guy takes her from behind. Would love to see that one again."
Another user, who was presumably not comfortable with the content of the site, posted "sadistic fucking losers....getting your rocks off to helpless animals being killed..... seek help or kill yourselves."
To which someone replied, simply, "You must be new to the DarkNet."
As unsettling as it is, crush porn has been distributed online for years. Metadata attached to the video the Motherboard editor watched dates it to 2000, and while that's unreliable, the video's format and resolution suggest it was filmed years before digital video cameras became popular.
That the site still exists following the crackdown on the Silk Road 2.0 and other dark net sites shows the sheer difficulty of regulating anything beyond the surface web. The internet, and the deep web in particular, is a space where people are free to express themselves, and connect to those with similar interests, and naturally that includes drug forums or, as this site reminds us, the most extreme forms of fetishism.
The producers aren't always immune. This year has seen arrests of prolific crush porn actresses as well as a crush porn kingpin named Adam Redford. But when it comes to the content itself, authorities face a game of whack-a-mole that quite possibly can't be won, not when videos of women killing kittens with their butts end up mirrored into perpetuity.