The Europol has shared a worrying trend. Terrorists are buying British passports on the "dark web" for as little as £750 or a little under $1,000.
EU police agency head Rob Wainwright said that terrorists are exploiting the hidden part of the internet. Wainwright said that it has become such a huge underground criminal environment which is turning very difficult for the security services to monitor.
There is also the trade of stolen passports to be worried about. Wainwright said that the criminal trading platform is substantial. He said that means criminals and terrorists are getting criminal goods in a more secure way making it harder to see what is going on and who is doing it.
A research by the Liberal Democrats, HM Passport Office's delivery firm DX has lost 1,291 passports since 2011. Party leader Tim Farron said that such is a massive national security risk already. It also shows how criminal gangs and potentially even terrorists are trying to cash in and use other people's passports.
The stolen passport trade is just the latest trend on ways to exploit the dark web. An investigation by BBC South East in October last year shows that fake train tickets were being sold on the dark web by a self-styled Robin Hood group claiming to be acting on behalf of passengers angered by high rail prices. Tor Browser, designed to mask the people's identity online, was being used for illegal purposes, according to researchers at King's College, London. They also found out that 57 percent of sites designed for the browser were being used to facilitate criminal activity, including drugs, illicit finance, and extreme pornography.
The British passport remains one of the top, most 'powerful' passports in the world, making it also one of the most coveted.
The dark web is facilitated by a global network of computer users who think that the internet should operate beyond the supervision of law enforcement agencies. It is mostly an anonymous and untraceable area of the internet, and only accessible by a covert browser. It is being used and exploited by both political activists and criminals. It is considered the online black market that makes and offers everything illicit from drugs and guns to fake passports and child pornography.