Everything you wanted to know about …
TOR and THE DEEP WEB
You may think that the internet is a huge resource of information, but in fact what most of us see is just one link in a very long chain of underground websites and unseen content.
WHAT IS THE DEEP WEB?
Put simply, the Deep web is the part of the internet that is hidden from view.
Also known as the ‘visible web’, it is content that can be found using search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It is under constant surveillance by the government.
Also known as the ‘invisible web’, it is content that cannot be indexed by search engines. And it is hard to keep track of.
The deep web is estimated to be the size of the surface web.
HOW DO YOU ACCESS IT?
In order to access the deep web, you need to use a dedicated browser. TOR (The Onion Router) is the most commonly used, but other options such as I2P and Freenet offer an alternative solution.
When using the surface web, you access data directly from the source.
The direct approach tracks the information downloaded, from where and when it was accessed, and your exact location.
Information on the Deep Web cannot be accessed directly. This is because data is not held on any single page, but rather in databases, which makes it difficult for search engines to index.
Files are shared through any number of computers connected to the internet that hold the information you need. This is known as peer to peer networking.
this method of sharing encrypted data makes it difficult for your location and the kind of information you access to be tracked or monitored.
IS IT LEGAL?
You use it as you would any other internet browser. Many people are now beginning to use TOR as a way of maintaining their privacy whilst online.
WHO ELSE USES IT?
- WhistleBlowers (Edward Snowden, Julian Assange)
Due to the anonymity that TOR offers, the Deep Web has also become a popular nesting ground for criminal activity.
THIS INCLUDES THINGS SUCH AS
- Child Pornography
- Weapons trading
- Hitmen for fire∗
∗Though there are groups on the Deep Web claiming to offer this service, there has been no legitimate proof of their existence.
The Silk Road became one such popular website on the Deep Web. Known also as the “eBay of drugs”, it is a place to buy and sell things – but mainly illegal drugs.
- This was made possible by the use of Bitcoin, a virtual currency that makes use of the encrypted peer to peer system.
- Bitcoin allows users to conduct business transactions anonymously. This has allowed some users of the currency to engage in illegal activity.
2006 → First Bitcoin traded.
2011 → (JAN) – Silk road founded by the user ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’.
(FEB) – Bitcoin triples in value.
(JUN) – US senate investigates link between Bitcoin and silk road.
(NOV) – Bitcoin loses over 90% of its value.
2013 →(OCT) – FBI locates and arrest the person accused of being the ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’. Silk Road is shut down.
(NOV) – Silk Road 2.0 founded Bitcoin triples in value∗
*Bitcoin is known to be a volatile currency. Even though its value has on average constantly increased since its inception. It is prone to large fluctuations in perceived value.
$1 BILLION – Worth of good were sold on Silk Road before it was shut down.
There may be a wealth of information out there in the Deep Web, but you should be careful about what you look for. Just like Alice, the deeper you go, the more trouble you could find yourself in.
There’s a secret internet for drug dealers assassins and pedophiles – businessinsider.com
Statistics – hewilson.wordpress.com
Who uses tor – torproject.org
The disturbing world Deep Web contract killers drug dealers ply trade internet –dailymail.co.uk
Faq – bitcoin.org
Silk Road users arrested – huffingtonpost.com
Silk Road 2 – wired.co.uk
Alternatives to Tor – alternativeto.net
p2p – www.techterms.com
Invisible web – websearch.about.com