Why you should differentiate Deep Web from Dark Web?
Why you should differentiate Deep Web from Dark Web? We all use the internet every day but websites that are found through search engines are only make up of .03% of total pages available, the remaining 99.97% of internet is made up of un-index pages. This Deep web is consist of everything online including passwords, private archives and many more.
The Deep web is often confused with the Dark web but they are two very distinctive things. The deep web is the entire web that is not accessible by conventional search engine but dark web is a certain website within the deep web that is linked to criminal activity and illegal market places.
Freenet was invented by Ian Clarke in 1995 as part of his degree at University of Edinburgh.
Tor which stands for The Onion Router is based on Firefox and is run exclusively by group of volunteers. The browser disguises the user’s IP address by bouncing signals around numerous computers all over the world, this makes it always impossible to see who is actually viewing the material.
Tor also gives users the option to run their own hidden services like website routes that can only be viewed using Tor, some argued this is what led to the development of dark web in the first place.
The dark web is known for hosting some of the world illegal markets including the most famous one; Silk-Road that was shut down in 2013 but another drug marketplace “Atlantis” was discovered advertising on YouTube.
Alongside drugs, these items like guns and weapons are easily accessible. Counterfeiting personal documents is also extremely popular with passport, birth-certificate and social security number (SSN) ready to buy. Contract killers are also easy to hire, target can be taken out in 1 to 3 weeks but typically they cannot be children under 16 or high profile politicians.
The dark web is home to extremely hardcore pornography and active Pedophilia communities and message boards.
Some of them require the sharing of Pedophilia images in exchange for continued membership.
At 2014, studies discovered that 80% of dark web usage on Tor was connected to Pedophilia despite only 2% of Tor hidden services being related to child abuse sites. Other sexual mores are catered for including cannibalism, there are sites that describe how to kill and cook a human and some of them also provide instructional videos of butchered people.
There are also regular rumours of pay-per-view tortured streams, these so called red rooms are describe as live tortured streams where the audience can request such an act to be performed on the victim for a price but there is no much evidence this site actually exists.
But these arguably is not the darkest content on the dark web.
In 2015, Australian Peter Gerald Scully arrested in connection to the creation and the distribution of films that show the rape, sexual assault, torture and murder of children some as younger as 18 months.
But it is not just criminals that utilize the deep web.
In 2015, the FBI ran the world biggest child pornography site on the dark web, operation “Playpen” was the FBI’s plan to track down pedophiles that use the dark website Playpen. After tracing the site location to North Carolina, the FBI moved the service to Virginia where they continued to keep the site opened for additional 13 days.
Although the FBI did not upload additional images, the site were already contained 23,000 explicit images of children and received over 100,000 visitors whilst the FBI running it. Operation Playpen allowed the justice department to uncover 1,300 IP addresses from the site. From this, 137 people have been charged with child pornography or pedophilia crimes.
But this is not the only time the FBI have got to be involved in the dark web, in 2014 they worked with 17 other nations in operation “Onymous“, this targeted illegal websites that were selling drugs, guns and credit card details that resulted in 17 arrests on the season of $1Million in Bitcoin as well as 400 URLs which is about 27 websites.
In 2015, the NASA on the US government began working on what they called Google for darknet, the search engine which is known as “MEMEX” will be able to index and identify certain activity patterns on the dark web, it aims to uncover crime brings by looking for patterns of advert posted from certain areas or for recurrent telephone numbers.
Crucially, MEMEX will be able to check video, images and pop-up adverts as well as texts. On average, 360,000 Americans accessed the deep web through Tor each day but they are not all using the horrific contents we discussed.
Tor is frequently used by journalists to contact whistle-blowers and the decedents to ensure their safety from their governments. People who live in oppressive regimes where state regulated media will also benefit from using data encryption. Many other people simply use the deep web to test website before they are indexed and appear on the surface web. Other use it to ensure that website designs do not get stolen.
What’s more even the US government uses the deep web as part of its day-to-day operations in the Middle East. US Navy branches use Tor for open source intelligence gathering without revealing the governmental IP address.
While the dark web is the source for immense evil and depravity, the deep web offers anonymity that can aid law enforcement and civilians across the world. But it is worth remembering that as part of operation “Onymous“, the FBI manage to infiltrate the supposedly completely anonymous Tor network, this means along with MEMEX, the deep web may not be so hidden after all.