Grams: Search engine for the deep web causing a stir online

18 Apr 2014

A search engine, known as Grams, which allows people to search for a whole range of illegal items on the ‘deep web’, has been gaining attention online and worrying authorities.

Having only been online for a week, the search engine has taken the contents of the deep web, something which has been known about but little understood, and has made them available only for people using the Tor anonymous browser.

Aside from the obviously legal implications for creating a website that allows people to buy and sell products and services, including drugs, guns and even hitmen, Google will more than likely have a problem with the Gram search engine copying the style and colouring of the world’s most popular search engine.


Grams: The Google of the deep web

Much like the founder of the Silk Road, which similarly acted as a trading post for illegal goods and services going under the name Dread Pirate Roberts, Gram’s founder is known only by the Reddit username, gramsadmin.

Speaking via an online messaging service to Wired, the alleged founder has said his/her reason for creating the search engine was because he/she “noticed on the forums and reddit people were constantly asking ‘where to get product X?’ and ‘which market had product X?’ or ‘who had the best product X and was reliable and not a scam?’ I wanted to make it easy for people to find things they wanted on the darknet and figure out who was a trustworthy vendor.”

Grams search results

A whole host of weaponry is available for anyone to buy

Even more worryingly for Google, he/she intends to bring more of Google’s technology into its search results by implementing algorithms seen in its Google AdWord searches.

“I am working on the algorithm so it is a lot like Google’s. It will have a scoring system based how long the listing has been up, how many transactions, how many good reviews. That way you will see the best listing first,” the alleged founder said on Reddit.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic