Dark Web Searches Grow Dramatically in Pakistan After Dr. Shahid Masood’s Claims


Following a disclosure by an anchorperson regarding Zainab’s killer and his association with a bigger gang involved in selling child pornography over the Dark Web, millions of Pakistanis searched for the keyword “dark web” on Google Search.

The anchor, Dr. Shahid Masood, claimed that Zainab’s alleged killer, Imran Ali, works with a sizeable gang which makes money by shooting child pornography and selling it over the dark web.


A Basic Introduction to the Dark Web and How to Access It

Surely, this ‘revelation’ piqued the curiosity of many throughout the country who were previously aware of the term ‘Dark Web’. What followed is not too hard to understand  as internet users in Pakistan Googled search queries related to the “Dark Web”.

According to Google Trends, the search term “dark web” and several related terms, for instance “what is dark web”, have been the trending topics in Pakistan.

In fact, Pakistan has become the region with the highest search queries related to “dark web” in the whole world in the past month.

Google Trends - Dark Web
The popularity of the topic “dark web” per region since the past 30 days in Google searches


Accordingly, if we take a closer look at the graphs, the “dark web” topic was not a popular search term before Dr Shahid’s disclosure.

Google Trends - Pakistan, keyword "Dark Web"
The popularity of the topic “dark web” in Pakistan since the past 30 days in Google searches


According to a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official specializing in the Cyber Crime department, around 1.3 million Pakistani citizens used the keyword “dark web” in Google search following the recent murder and rape of the 7 year old Zainab in Kasur and its said connection to the dark web.

The Dark Web

The dark web is an encrypted and well-concealed area of the Internet which cannot be accessed directly. The websites hosted on the dark web cannot be traced or tracked and remain masked from the authorities – making it a preferred platform for conducting illegal activities.

Activities such as trade of guns and drugs, terrorism, human-trafficking, child pornography, and many others are conducted over the dark web.

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