The infamous Dark Web. Maybe you have heard of it as a place where drugs are sold or credit card information is distributed among thieves. In reality the Dark Web is nothing to be afraid of and provides a unique look at the human experience.
There are some images that may be upsetting to readers. Read at your own discretion.
Dark Web 101
What so many people call the Dark Web is really only a collection of computers that create an internet that requires specific software, configuration, or authorization to access. Of the many Dark Webs, the most popular is The Onion Router, also called Tor. It was developed in the 1990s by the United States Naval Research Laboratory. The purpose of Tor was to protect U.S. intelligence communications online. In 1997, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) further developed Tor.
The Dark Web Today
Many believe the Dark Web to be an evil place. Public knowledge of the Dark Web was scarce until the FBI arrested Silk Road founder, Ross William Ulbricht, in 2013. The Silk Road was a marketplace accessed via Tor where illegal drugs, arms, and services were bought and sold. This scenario tarnished the Dark Web. In actuality, the Dark Web is no more than a pseudo-anonymous way to communicate and interact online. Daily users of the Dark Web include privacy advocates, whistleblowers, citizens of countries with harsh regimes, and readers of banned books.
Unfortunately like many other systems that are misused, this underground, online world is a breeding ground for crime. The drug trade runs rampant, human trafficking wild, and illicit activities stand fast on the Dark Web. It is the favorite place for hackers to buy computer viruses or sell personally identifiable information such as credit cards, social security numbers, and drivers licenses. In this article, we will give you a tour of the Dark Web in an attempt to show you what it really is; then you may decide if you believe it is good or bad.
A Tour Of The Dark Web
WHISTLEBLOWER SAFE HAVEN:
Our first stop on this Dark Web tour is a site where people can share their knowledge in confidence:
This is one of many whistleblower sites maintained by advocacy groups. Anonymous “drop boxes” allow whistleblowers to divulge information without fear that their identity will be compromised.
Our next stop is everyone’s favorite, a Dark Marketplace.
Here are the top sellers of an online marketplace. As you can see, drugs find their way to the bestsellers list constantly. To a large extent, these marketplaces are comparable to Amazon and eBay. There are buyers, sellers, reviews, products rankings, money management, and communication capabilities.
Finally, some miscellaneous finds on the Dark Web:
Here is an example of the fake identification market on the Dark Web. This Bulgarian driver license only costs $1,040 USD.
THE SALE OF HUMAN ORGANS:
Trafficking of human organs is also alive on the Dark Web Suppliers maintain anonymity by putting one more step between themselves and buyers. The fee shown above is for being put in contact with a supplier.
Finally, here is where criminals would go to purchase credit cards and other personally identifiable information for whatever their hearts desire.
Although the Dark Web provides a way to traverse the internet anonymously, you can still get yourself in trouble. We are not recommending you go on the Dark Web to do illegal things, but if you want to explore, read below so you can do so in a more informed manner.
Do not download illegal things from the Dark Web. First of all, it is illegal. Second, Tor can not handle downloads anonymously, which means law enforcement could see exactly who is downloading the content and to where. Third, and perhaps worst, Dark Web content is usually riddled with malicious code that hackers embed in hopes that someone will come along and download their malware.
Do not buy things from marketplaces and have them shipped to your house. If you are going to buy anything you should first set up an anonymous bitcoin wallet.
Second, when you do buy something, have it shipped to a public location under a fake name. Another possibility is to have the item shipped to an unoccupied residence; wait a few days after the item has been delivered and then retrieve it.
To learn how to access the Dark Web, go here for more information: https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en#Warning
The Dark Web Is What You Decide It Is
The reputation of the Dark Web possibly exceeds the reality, but it is still a very interesting place if you like to explore. It allows you to see parts of the world that have been hidden before. You hear real stories that you won’t find covered by any news organization. The Dark Web, however, is still a dangerous place, so keep your wits about you.
Please Note: None of the advice in this article can be guaranteed legally sound. If you have questions about what is legal and what is not, speak to an attorney.