- Internet & the Web
The Dark Web
We all have heard
about the "Dark Web."
A place we imagine to be
like a lonely road at 2 a.m.
A place where as we enter
we are assaulted by Daash recruiters, the sellers of kiddie porn, guns, and forged documents.
The Dark Nets, which make up the Dark Web include tiny networks, private friend to friend networks. They also include the larger networks, such as Freenet, I2P, and Tor.
Anyone can create a Dark Net; you and your friends log on via a private Network and no one not on that network can contact you. It doesn't have to be for nefarious purposes. It could be real 'Networking' such as a group which deals with Disasters, or a set of Executives who want privacy.
The most well known and popular way to get into the Darknet is via Tor, which is operated by public organizations and individuals.
Sure there is...
Child Porn is probably the most requested item on the Darkweb. This is followed by hackers offering their services. The third most popular category are 'Hitmen' people one can hire to get rid of their neighbours.
There are also places one can buy illegal stuff, of every kind.
The Dark Web is Private. There is no 'audit' trace. Your I.P. address is hidden. What you do, say, is hidden.
The Web itself if not private. Your email, your information can be easily accessed.
On Gmail you might mention 'autism'.
Suppose you post a note to one friend, talking about another:
"I think their kid is autistic."
The next thing, everywhere you go is some banner for 'Autism Speaks' or some services for Autism. Suddenly your ads are focused on Autism.
This is not a coincidence.
Gmail Sells keywords to advertisers. Autism Speaks pays Gmail for links to every user who mentions 'Autism'.
Suppose you make a post on Facebook, saying something like,
"I really need a new T.V."
Then, every where you look is an ad for a television set.
This is not a coincidence.
Everything you post is seen. It maybe seen by A.I. which is 'only' data farming for advertisers.
This company sells wheelbarrows. That isn't a very popular item. But! If one can pay Google or Facebook, for every single user who mentions wheelbarrows, then they can be targeted.
If only 25k people mention wheelbarrows, then those users are the 25k who are targeted.
If only half respond, that's a lot of customers.
What if you don't want to be targeted? What if you want to travel around the Web, reading what you want, seeing what you want, all perfectly legal, but you just don't want to be a target?
What if you heard something a bit nasty a bit creepy, something you want to check out.
Suppose you do online banking and don't want to leave any data trail?
Suppose someone has a particular disease you want to know about but don't want get all sorts of ads and invites concerning that disease?
You use the Dark Web.
You download a browser called 'Tor'. This browser doesn't just connect to the Internet, this browser goes all over the place to make sure that your I.P. can NOT be tracked.
You then go to your usual sites.
You'll notice a difference pretty quickly. You won't be seeing the same Ads. You may not see any in certain places. Why? Because this company only targets people who live in X city. As you no longer appear to live in X city, there is no reason for that Ad.
No one knows what you are doing. This means, that for the first time you are free to do the research you have always been afraid to attempt.
For example, a mother was getting very nervous with all these reports of people who abuse children. She wanted to get on the 'Net to research it so as to know safe from unsafe.
Can you imagine her trying to do this on the regular Web? She'd get the attention of every possible law enforcement agency known to government.
She used Tor and began her quest. She learned that what she thought was 'safe' was the most dangerous. For example, letting her kids go to the animated movie. She thought four kids going to see cartoons was safe. She didn't begin to realise that pederasts lurk around such places offering the kids ice cream, and enticing them into his lair.
There are many others searches you are afraid to do using Chrome or Firefox that you would use Tor for.
It isn't just crime
Many times you want privacy. You are tired of being tracked, of having everything you do, captured and can and will be used against you.
Like the little boy who made a homemade clock that the school thought was a bomb, you don't want to go through that kind of excitement because all you wanted to know was if these two household products would, if mixed, explode.
You don't want to research ISIS and have people think you are about to convert to Islam and fly to Syria.
So, you use the Dark Web.