The Dark Web ExplainedIt is amazing to look back at the past two decades and realize how the internet has evolved in a relatively short period of time. While most of us use the World Wide Web to search for information, stay in touch with friends and family and even online shop till we drop, some people use the web's evil twin the dark web, for no good.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web, aka the black web, is a web that lies under the surface layer of the 'regular internet'. When we go online through our computers, phones, tablets, and other devices, we enter the Surface Web that provides us with what we need.
Under that surface lies the black web that cannot be accessed through search engines and URL addresses. The Deep Web and the Dark Web can't be accessed with regular search engines, rather via specialized software. It is hard to believe, but the Deep Web is 500 times larger than the Surface Web however the Dark Web is just a tiny percentage of this! To get into the dark and deep web, a person has to have not only the software for it but also the knowledge on using these deep layer webs.
Anonymity in the Dark Web
For people who use the black web, the most important thing is staying anonymous. While traffic on the outer web can be easily tracked and traced, it's more complicated with the dark web. It is a group of networks that anonymize communications and make the origin and destination of internet traffic more complicated to locate. It's, therefore, a favorite amongst those dabbling in illegal activity such as drug dealing, child pornography, and credit card fraud. On the other hand, it can be used for more legitimate but equally illegal acts such as uncovering government schemes and communicating 'off the record' with the media.
The Silk Road Case
One of the most famous dark web stories, and possibly the most famous one, is that of the silk road case. The silk road was a modern online black market that was created on the Dark Web and shut down in 2013 for selling illegal drugs. However, the Dark Web isn't all bad. It allows users to exercise free speech in countries where it is banned. Furthermore, in countries that ban social media and specific search engine sites, dark web tools can help avoid these government restrictions.
How Do People Access the Dark Web?
One particular tool to access the Dark Web is Tor, which allows people to access sites that end in the onion extension that can't be accessed via regular browsers. With Tor, browser traffic is anonymized through encryption before it sends it to its final destination. This means that Tor's browsing experience is known to be slightly slower than regular browsers due to the anonymization process. Nevertheless, tools like Tor, aren't flawless and some websites block traffic from Tor browsers. In addition, with Tor users cannot stay protected from falling deep into the Dark Web and seeing things that they wish they hadn't.
The Dark Web easily grants surfers access to the sites we've touched on. The world of drug deals, fraud and worse are available at the touch of your fingertips so remember to stay aware of where and how you are surfing at all times. What's more, The Dark web is a messy place and there are people out there looking to scam others so keep your wits about you!