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How to make an offline version of .onion-sites?

By Petola
Mar 28, 2014
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  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm currently writing my bachelor thesis in information systems. I'll be researching illegal trade on the dark web, the case study being the Silk Road online drug market on the TOR-network.

    Because of the nature of the site, it often goes up and down. I would therefore like to make an offline version of the site, stored on my local hard drive for backup.

    I've used software like ScrapBook and HTTRack, but they just won't take .onion-sites!
    (I'm using the TOR Bundle for browsing the TOR network and my OS is Windows 7.)

    Please help!
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Hmm; IMO, you just don't need to replicate a site to do this research and this approach would be unethical.

    If you need a few webpages, access them via the browser and perform a SAVE PAGE AS and use TEXT Files option to avoid all the scripts and graphics.

    You might get a programmer to do some work with PHP using the cURL feature and that's opening the barn door for you.
  3. Petola

    Petola TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, the thing is there are close to 30 000 posts in that forum. Saving each one manually would just take too much time. I was looking for some sort of automated solution to the problem, and software that usually does the trick just won't work with TOR-sites for some reason.

    About the unethical aspect; the anonymity on that site is very high, and nobody on that forum uses their real name. The activity on the site is illegal to begin with, and all private correspondence between buyers/seller is conducted through PGP-encrypted emails. So, nobody's identity is in danger. I'm just trying to do a netnographic study of the user behaviors on a drug related forum for my bachelor thesis. The only reason I want to save the posts is purely for backup reasons in case the whole thing suddenly shuts down (which have happened a couple of times already).
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    The ethics issue is not about privacy of the data you are attempting to hijack, but the fact that you feel it is reasonable to take what is not yours.

    I'll not go any further on the subject and as soon as this posts, I will disengage from the topic / discussion.
    learninmypc likes this.

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