What Is The Dark Web?
The dark web describes encrypted online content in sites that cannot be accessed by regular web browsers but by specific browsers and search engines like the TOR browser.
The dark web guarantees privacy and anonymity relative to the traditional websites granting users the liberty to express their views and act freely.
It is notorious for being a hub for illicit, suspect, and unethical activities; as such, sites that use information that is not indexed online like bank accounts, e-mail accounts, databases can be pulled up.
It is home for sinister activities and content like illegal gun sales, drug sales, pornography, stolen credit cards, fake jewelry, high-end sunglasses, fake diplomas to Ivy League schools, counterfeit passports, and social security numbers.
Undercover journalists, whistleblowers, political protestors, fugitives, espionage convicts, and political dissidents alike find safety in the dark web.
The dark web is thought to have originated, like the internet, in 1969 as a brainchild of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) as a digital communications network.
A watershed moment for the dark web was in 2002, when the alpha version of ‘the onion router,’ Tor web browser was launched. This free and open-source software allows users to surf the web anonymously.
The version of the Tor browser that is commonly used to access the dark web today began to be developed in 2008.
Another landmark moment that came to be in 2009 was when the Bitcoin software was made available to the public. It was beneficial because it is a digital currency that enables anonymous purchases, meeting the needs of a ready market for illegal trade.
By 2011, the Silk Road online marketplace was launched on the dark web. It was an aggregate of the internet, Tor browser, and Bitcoin. It provided a platform that enhances illegal purchases under cover of anonymity.
The dark web is different from the deep web in that while the deep web is hidden as well, it mainly involves harmless sites like government accounts and databases, bank details of customers, secure private sites, and so on, unlike the dark web. As such, you can think of the dark web as a part of the deep web that aggregates illegal activity.
Dark Web Example
It is common for individuals or organizations that engage in illicit activities to seek an avenue for networking, sourcing information and personnel, and so on. Silk Road is an example of a website on the dark web. A marketplace that sold illegal products. The dark web offers all of these possibilities to potential criminals.« Back to Glossary Index