The Dark Side of the Internet

A friend of mine had actually brought this up during a meal – saying that there was supposedly a “Dark Side of the Internet.” A supposed way to find things that regular search engines will not. Accordingly, we only see roughly five percent of the entire internet. The rest is on the deep net.

Not this kind of dark side. (photo by Ariaski)

Not this kind of dark side. (photo by Ariaski)

And actually, believe it or not you have heard of the deep net – you just most likely don’t know how to access it.

Remember the Wikileaks guy? The guy who revealed top secret government information via internet? It must have been about a year ago that I remember reading articles on the matter. Anyway – that information came from the deep net, supposedly. So how do you find the deep net?

There is a part of the Deep Net that is accessible through a web program called “Tor.” Tor was originally sponsored by the US Naval Research Laboratory, when it was released in the year 2002. Now it’s used to protect anonymity online. Tor is a program used for both wholesome and moral reasoning, but it is no surprise that the dark side of the internet harbors a lot of illegal content. In fact, the folks at Sophos say that as you go deeper and deeper into the web, you get darker and darker. Because it’s information you can get anywhere if you do a simple search on the Deep Net, I’ll share that Sophos has listed some of the sites that they have found, including the number one web dealer, and a place to get better at doing crime.

Now, I’m not exactly sure about Tor and it’s true anonymity, because there’s been two occasions that Sophos has talked about Tor both being a hindrance in busting child porn users, and how a Tor-hidden narcotics store was brought down by government officials.

Tor even has a disclaimer, stating basically that although you are anonymous, someone may be able to draw conclusions about your location from the web sites you view.

If you are planning on using Tor, use it safely. Remember that not everyone on the Deep Net is wholesome – so it is best to disable your cookies, javascript, and your webcam so as to make sure that they are not hijacked. Oh, and even if you’re on the Clear Net (which is the part the most people only know about) – be careful with Webcam usage. There are ways of hijacking a webcam, even if yours is off.

Anyway, it kind of all brings me to question why Snowden chose to share government information about the NSA via Clear Net instead of Deep Net. He was reportedly an IT for the CIA, but then left to work for private contractors. If that is the case – if he had extensive knowledge of the internet, which assuredly would include the Deep Net for a techie – then why did he choose to put himself under this worldwide search when all could have been said anonymously? Was it because he feared no one would take the information seriously? That it would never reach the Clear Net? Regardless, it’s very intriguing.

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