Due to the nature of the dark web, particularly, it’s promise of anonymity, some authorities will keep trying to block access to it. When guardians of knowledge restrict that info on a need to know basis, especially if it relates to state-sponsored illegal activities or censorship.
In contrast, most modern, liberal governments will uphold the idea that the dark web has a right to exist, if only because it provides freedom of speech to journalists around the world.
The trouble is that the dark web is also a haven for crime and curtailing this activity is more complicated than just monitoring info – especially when different countries are involved, each with various laws related to what goods, services, and information can be legally shared or distributed.
Although the deep web exists outside of every jurisdiction in a sense, and is not directly searchable by clearnet browsers, it actually contains a wealth of information. To access this content, you need to download Tor; once installed, you can find everything from markets for illegal goods and stolen identities to recipes and daily news from around the globe.
The dark web is a subset of the deep web. Most of the deep web is not part of the dark web, and it may be accessed by most businesses and individuals who own a computer. For instance, a dentist can access patient records, a credit card company can access customer transactions, and a school can view student grades. It’s just that these databases are ‘hidden’ in the deep web so that only those with credentials can view the sensitive data. As a result, many people use the dark web every day. They aren’t in violation of laws. The darknet is an important tool for anyone looking to surf the internet anonymously and secretly. It’s not just useful for evading government censorship; it can also assist those wanting to engage in unlawful activities.
The ‘web’ actually consists of both the deep web and the dark web, but they are not indexed by search engines. Indexing is like a library’s card catalogue. The sites are there, but they just aren’t easy to find unless you have a list of dark web links.
The top three search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo), as well as other search engines like DuckDuckGo, use indexes of websites and links to rank results. SEO teaches us that traditional search engines rank the outcomes based on relevance and keywords, as well as backlinks. It is not clear how things are ‘ranked’ on the dark web, since most people find onion links within a list on sites like ours.
Although some information on this deep web is not public, it can be viewed using special authentication credentials, such as usernames and passwords. Even certain websites have paywalls that must be overcome before accessing the content they contain.
Traditional search engine ranking is determined by factors such as relevance and keywords. On the dark web, however, results are prioritized by data that the search engines do not index. Dark web content includes vendors, info sites, forums, downloads and more. Even documents shielded by privacy laws may be found on the dark net, as we found out via Wikileaks and other whistleblower sites.
Though the dark web might evoke feelings of trepidation, with well-known sites represented, like BBC, Facebook, and ProPublica, some of its .onion sites are quite mundane. The average internet user wouldn’t find much use for visiting these sites since there’s already an extensive amount of information available on the surface web.
But if you do want to explore, you can visit any of the websites above. While typically safe, there is always a risk of encountering something dangerous on the dark web.
On the dark web, hackers abound so security is a top priority for both website administrators and users. To protect against script-based attacks that could exploit vulnerabilities on your computer, create an optional account with a site administrator. This will help to prevent any confidential information from being leaked if your computer was to be stolen.
Despite the many advantages of the dark web, it, unfortunately, provides a breeding ground for illicit activity. For example, due to its anonymity, the dark web is commonly used by criminal organizations to buy stolen credit-card information and plan cyberattacks. While this may not be an issue for everyone, some people abuse the power of anonymity that the dark web offers. In theory, dark webs and cryptocurrencies make it easier for criminals to remain hidden while conducting their business.