The Darker Side of the World Wide Web

Many have heard mention in the news or online about terms like the Darknet or the Deep Net. Not only are the terms ominous, they are hard to grasp since they simply haven’t existed until just around the last decade.

(Common-net browsers)

The World Wide Web can be accessed in different ways. For instance, you are probably viewing this article on what might be called the “Clearnet”. The “Clearnet” or “Common-net” is easy to access by common web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. These browsers index and search the web using standard protocols. The Clear Net is accessed by nearly 42% if the population worldwide.

The Deep-web also known as the Deep Net, the Hidden Net and the Invisible Web are made up of websites and data that are not accessible using a common web browser. This includes legitimate data and records used for business, medical services and social media for example. The data is “online” but is not accessible to the general public.

The Dark Net can be described as being somewhat similar to the Clearnet, but distinctively different in that it is much more anonymous, and communication such as chat and email are more secure. The Dark Net is an encrypted network that runs over, or beside the Clearnet. You do not have to be a hacking genius to access the Dark Net. However, someone outside the IT field will have to take some time to learn the ins and outs of accessing and navigating it.

The single greatest feature of the Dark Net is its anonymity. The degree of anonymity has led to an increase of users from many countries who sensor their citizens access to the internet such as China and Iran. Not surprisingly criminals have found that the anonymity of the Dark Net is a boom to their bottom line. The Darknet features market places where almost anything can be bought: guns, drugs, credit card numbers, medical records and child pornography to name just a few.

(Tor Project)

Many Factors have contributed to the rise of the Dark Net. The Tor Project which is a non-profit organization is the principle contributor of the encryption methods used to keep the Dark Net so dark. The rise of virtual currency such as Bitcoin has also enabled making and receiving payments to be more secure with greater anonymity. Some legitimate organizations use the Dark Net such as the United Nations and Facebook.

There will continue to be a heated debate over the morality and legality of the Dark Web. Many will argue that the anonymity that the Dark Net provides is a basic right and provides freedom from government censorship and oppression. Many others will argue that the cost of allowing criminal enterprises to operate unchallenged it too high. Love it or hate it, the Dark Net is here, and likely to be around for a while.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Schwenk

Robert Schwenk began a law enforcement career by joining the U.S.Army's Military police corps in 1982.Over the course of his career, Schwenk graduated from four separate police academies, two investigative courses and numerous certificate and training programs.Schwenk served as an armed officer, with arrest powers with five separate law enforcement agencies. In 2009 Schwenk retired from federal service due to a medical disability.Schwenk currently has interests writing, consulting, investigating and internet services and security.
Robert Schwenk

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