German lawmakers have decided to criminalize the provision of Dark Web hosting infrastructure on the grounds that illegal activities are taking place.
The Bundesrat, the legislative body representing Germany's 16 federal states, passed the measure on Friday and is preparing to present the bill to the German Parliament where it will be discussed and possibly approved.
Of course, we have to say that it is already illegal to sell drugs or hitman services on these websites. However, German lawmakers believe that more needs to be done to stop providing any technical infrastructure in these markets.
The law was initially proposed by the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and requested criminal sanctions for those who provide platforms that allow criminal offenses and where access is limited by specific technical precautions.
This means websites that are only accessible through services such as Tor and I2P - Tor and even refers to Accompanying Documentation (PDF) of the draft law.
There will be imprisonment sentences of up to three years in cases of provision of infrastructure on platforms dealing with narcotics, explosives and child sexual abuse material.
Bavaria has attempted to modify the plan to impose sanctions on the normal internet in addition to the Dark Web, in addition to proposing the use of telecommunications surveillance and state satellites. According to Netzpolitik, the Bavarian amendments were not passed.
However, there are some who fear that the proposal is still very extensive. The criminal David Schietinger said to Der Spiegel that the law "would severely restrict civil liberties" and that "it could be used to severely restrict or completely ban the Dark Web".