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Mystery Revealed: What is the Dark Web?

Updated on June 4, 2015

What is the Dark Web?

Everyone is aware that there is the World Wide Web which contains the censored Public Standard Internet. Since it is public, it is the subject of monitoring, censorship and surveillance. On the flip side of this, there is an alternate internet called the Dark Web. The Dark Web is a collection of websites that hide their IP Addresses making them invisible to Search Engines. That is correct, your regular search engine cannot locate them so they remain for the most part... invisible. To reach these sites, one must use special browser programs. The bonus of these browser programs is that they heavily encrypt your data and render you as an invisible user to others on the Dark Web.

One such program is called TOR. According to TOR, there are over 3 million users with hidden sites or service sites offering a variety of information, products and services. TOR is a program that facilitates anonymous communication and provides an access point to the Dark Web.

TOR developers believe they are providing personal freedom and privacy with this software and network. Scientists, political activists and computer technologists as well as hackers are using it to mask and protect themselves from unwanted mass surveillance. This surveillance has come to the forefront of the news with Edward Snowden and NSA as well as the Canadian Anti-Terrorist Bill C-51 which threatens human rights and freedoms yet empowers spy agencies. CSEC being the Canadian version of the U.S's NSA. Although TOR is one of the most used clients, there are other programs that can access the Dark Web as well. This is just one example.

Browser beware. The Dark Web is a place where hidden sites may also contain anything from confidential data to special products, weapons, illegal drugs and pornography. For example, The Silk Road is an anonymous market place and drug bazaar. One must be careful and wary where one travels. This happens because there is no regulation or monitoring of the Dark Web. Although it may be convenient to hide your online activities from would be surveillance and this may be attractive to many, there are,however, risks and one must have some awareness and security before navigating the Dark Web. Some suggest even placing a piece of tape over your web cam to evade unwelcome observation on the Dark Web.

If you venture to explore the Dark and Deep Webs ensure you watch the included tutorial and documentary included with this article. Be aware of the benefits as well as the risks. There are both positive and negative attributes to using the Dark and Deep Webs. Perhaps the minor risks are worth the privacy and protection and complete anonymity?


  • CSEC is monitoring an astonishing 15 million file downloads a day with Canadian Internet addresses among the targets
  • CSEC monitors over 400,000 emails per day not authorized by any Judge
  • The Feds sought contractors to build a new monitoring system to monitor what Canadians say on Social Media sites like Facebook
  • A 2014 survey by the federal privacy commissioner found 77 per cent of Canadians are concerned about security agencies collecting their information for surveillance purposes
  • 93.8 per cent want to end blanket surveillance of law-abiding people
  • 89.1 per cent want all surveillance activities to require a warrant approved by a judge
  • 92.2 per cent want to forbid security agencies from monitoring peaceful individuals and groups not posing a threat to national security.

Source: Canada Can End Mass Surveillance

Excerpt from: Mapping the Canadian Government's Telecommunications Surveillance by Christopher Parsons of the Citizen's Lab

These agencies’ unaccountability is absolutely unacceptable (RCMP, CSIS,CSEC). And it’s made worse by the fact that the currently proposed lawful access legislation, C–13, would indemnify ISPs for sharing even more information with state authorities while not requiring these authorities to report on how often, and to what extent, they ‘request’ such information.

It appears as though the federal government has engaged in little more than a legislative facade by dropping provisions for warrantless access to subscriber data.

How to Access the Deep Web...

What is the Deep Web?

The Hidden Internet also contains other parts beside the Dark Web namely, the Deep Web, private networks and overlay networks. The Deep Web is four to five hundred times larger than the Public Internet and this information is not registered with any search engine. It contains massive amounts of valuable data from databases which can be requested as well as data contained within private organizational networks and public networks such as Facebook and Google +. For every web page on the Public Internet Web, there are data web pages that exist in the Deep Web, therefore, the Deep Web is tremendously larger than the Public Web.

The Deep Web contains such vast amounts of data that can be harvested for the purposes of compiling data, statistics and trends. One can also ask indepth, specific and detailed questions that Public Web search engines are not able to access nor answer. This is accomplished using a Harvest Engine. Harvesting accesses raw text from web pages and versions web pages that can be plugged into Analytic Technologies. One such program is Bright Planet's Harvesting Engine and Open Planet Enterprise Program. These programs allow a customer to visualize, analyze and create intelligence from large data sets. From tracking newspaper articles en mass to search court rulings across the country, to seeking rumors about who is selling your product illegally. There is tremendous potential.

Inside the Dark Web - Documentary (58 mins)

Twenty-five years after the World Wide Web was created, the issue of surveillance has become the greatest controversy of its existence. With many concerned that governments and corporations can monitor people's every move, this programme meets hackers and scientists who are using technology to fight back, as well as the law enforcement officers who believe it's leading to opportunities for risk-free crimes.


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