Friday, August 03, 2018

Dark Web 101 For Dummies

Through the web darkly...

You've heard about it. Dare to experience it?

"The darkweb"; "the deep web"; beneath "the surface web" – the metaphors alone make the internet feel suddenly more unfathomable and mysterious.

The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations or authorization to access.

According to Wikipedia, The darknets which constitute the dark web include small, friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks like Tor, Freenet, I2P and Riffle operated by public organizations and individuals. Users of the dark web refer to the regular web as Clearnet due to its unencrypted nature.

The Dark Web Map is a visualization of the structure of Tor's onion services.

In this age of mass surveillance by our own government it is crucial that we take our privacy very seriously. The dark web can enhance user privacy or overcome censorship by enabling anonymous browsing through Tor. Recently, for example, Brave, dedicated to protecting user privacy, integrated Tor support to help users surf the web anonymously from a regular browser. This raises questions such as: is the dark web for illicit content and dealings only? Can it really be useful for day-to-day web privacy protection? And how easy is it to use anonymous browsing and dark web or “onion” sites in the first place? [continued]

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