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Dark web is the part of the web which is hidden and cannot be accessed with a normal browser. There are many questions related to Dark web on the internet but is the dark web illegal? Let’s start with the basics of the web.

The Internet is an important part of our life today. We access the information on the world wide web using the internet. The world wide web (WWW) is divided into three parts. Surface web, Deep web and Dark web. There is unlimited material on the web which you can access to get the work done. You can find it with a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing and visible to anyone. This is the surface web.

Do you know that surface web contain only 4 percent of the total web?

Is the dark web illegal

The remaining content comes under Deep web. In the Deep web, there are some private links which you can not find through search engines. These are direct access URL. This type of web is used in military, banking etc.

Is the dark web illegal

All online cloud storage of google drive or Dropbox, research of big companies, Governments secret projects or files. are stored in deep web. Basically, all those things which you can not find through search engines come under Deep web. You need the specific URL and permission i.e login password to access deep web URL. These URLs are not indexed in search engines. It means you can not access my google drive content from any search engine until I provide you specific URL and permission for accessing it. 

What is the dark web?

Dark web is the subcategory of the Deep web. It is a network of all anonymous activity and untraceable websites on the internet. Dark website and webpage cannot be accessed from your normal browser such as Chrome, Mozilla using your ISP. There is special configuration, encryption and software involved while accessing Dark web. 

People can interact online without worrying about their identity. Their identity is hidden in the Dark web that’s why the world’s most of the criminal activity i.e drug smuggling, hacking, stolen credit card trading etc take place there. The dark website uses a special encryption mechanism “TOR” which allow users to visit anonymously.

who created dark web?

The concept of dark web originated by the US government to communicate with intelligence assets and Americans abroad stations without being detected. Later Paul Syverson, David Goldschlag and Michael Reed (Mathematician at naval research laboratory) started working on the concept of onion routing in 1995 and developed an onion router project “TOR”. Later US navy released this to public use.

Dark web browser

Dark web is accessed from “TOR” browser. “TOR” stands for “The onion router”. There is different online routing mechanism is involved in TOR browser to take you till websites. TOR network contains thousands of server all over the world. When you enter into the browser, you will be connected to remote VPN which results in a different IP than your ISP given IP. While searching for a website in TOR, then the request will bounce through a bunch of VPN servers randomly and it will be almost impossible to trace back that where this request came from. As per a document, Even the NSA faced difficulty to trace TOR users. This bouncing of the request makes an effect on speed and slowness can be experienced there. 

Is the dark web illegal

how to access the dark web?

Dark web is accessed from “TOR’ browser. All .onion website can be accessed from it. You can download Tor browser from official website Torproject.org. After download, it asks to configure or connect to VPN. Once you set up, you are assigned to a remote VPN server where you can search anything on the web from anonymously. 

Dark websites

Dark websites look similar to other normal websites. It uses “.onion” rather than “.com” or “.org” as the suffix in their Domain. These websites have the domain name which is difficult to remember. For example, Pulitzer winning publication “ProPublica” has its domain name as “propub3r6espa33w.onion“. Many dark websites are used to commerce and trade anonymously and the customer can be a victim of fraud in such activity because all transactions happen in cryptocurrency where nobody knows that who is the buyer or who is the seller.

Many webmasters close the website after taking advance money from their customer because even govt also can not track them. Hackers use the dark web to target its users because they host their .onion website on their computer and can easily get access to visitor’s computer. These scammer closes the website whenever they want and open again with a new name to deceive their customers.

The incidents related to dark web

Silk Road was one of the first online black markets which were famous for offering a wide variety of drugs and other illegal services. This website was encrypted with TOR hidden services which made difficult to recognize its webmaster. It was closed by FBI agency by putting hard efforts after 2 years of its launch. Founder Ross Ulbricht was arrested in 2013 and given life imprisonment for money laundering, fraud, drug trafficking and hacking.

It causes closure of successive site such as silk road 2.O along-with similar sites project black flag, black market reloaded. Aftermath of online market closure is, Tor browser usage has been dropped and it has cleared the way for its competitors like ITP or Freenet. Instead of silk road 2.0, In 2014, Alpha bay came and provided the same services. It gains 14000 new users in just 90 days of operation. It was a huge success to this illegal online market. In 2017 Alpha bay market is also closed by law enforcement action as part of operation bayonet. At the time of closure, Alpha bay had more than 4 lakh users. 

Well, not all activities are illegal in TOR. It has some legitimate use as well. It receive 60 percent of its backing from US state department and the department of defense to act as a secure network for both government  agencies and political dissidents fighting oppressive regimes. 

Is the dark web illegal? 

Well, The short answer is “NO”. Even Facebook has its own social .onion website “facebookcorewwwi.onion” in dark web. Google, Mozilla, US dept and many others has sponsored the TOR project. When it comes to privacy or freedom, there is always surveillance on you in the surface web. Companies collect your data and sell. 

Dark web allows you to browse freely and privately. Dark web is used where social media or other critical resources are blocked by government or particular Internet Service Provider. It helps people to prevent someone monitoring on their activity.

It has empowered the activists to spread news during the Arab spring and encourage whistle-blowers to release information. The dark web as a tool to help journalist uncover the truth was made popular by Wikileaks. News organisations New York times and The Guardians all host dark web drop sites for uploading anonymously leaked tips and documents.

The dark web has plenty of things to offer which is difficult to find on the public web. You can join a book club where the reading community have been a fixture of the dark web for years. Strategic intelligence network offers concrete information on how to deal with any sort of crisis anywhere on earth. Hidden answers are the Dark web version of Yahoo answers on topics like government, law, financial services. The dark web has its own news outlets, bitcoin and online privacy-related content. You can get a super secure email service Anoninbox which charge you a fraction of a bitcoin per year and return total privacy. 

List of few important Dark websites

Duckduckgo

This is the alternate of Google search engine in darkweb where you search for anything without revealing your identity. Google annoy you with captcha frequently in TOR to confirm if you are human where Duck excels at speed, reliability and privacy.

Blockchain for bitcoin

This is the most popular bitcoin wallet where you can hold bitcoin anonymously. It is one of the few sites with https certificate on the .onion address.

The hidden wiki

This is the wikipidia of dark web. You can find the bunch of services running on the dark web, articles, theories and much more.

Sci-hub

This is the free worlds scintific database. You can find over 50 million research paper here. It gives something good scientific solutions to diseases, drought and hunger. 

Business in Dark web

Introduction of bitcoin boosted the transaction in dark web. Bitcoin might not be perfect but still, it is the first choice to dark web purchases.

There are many e-commerce sites on the dark web with the same features but trusting on them become a question because reviews can be moderated or product you receive will not be good in quality due to anonymity. 

Since a lot of crime i.e child pornography, drug smuggling, trafficking, trading of stolen credit cards etc is taking place, Many law enforcement agencies are working to get better in cracking tor anonymous network and stop crime in the dark web but this is increasing day by day. Silk road and Alphabay closure is a good win to crack down Tor network by Security agencies.

There are always negative as well as positive sides of the dark web. You can choose to visit the dark web but I will recommend you to be aware of the risks and be safe with hacker’s targeting.  It is a good platform to browse anonymously anything and get useful resources. 

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2 Comments

Syed Sadique Hassan · November 21, 2018 at 1:59 am

Wow! One of the best articles i have read about darkweb till date… Plethora of information in such a short crisp blog… Well Done bro ;).
Just out of curiosity wanted to ask whether you have written the same article on Quora as well because i read something’s eerie similar there too!

    Rajeev Singhal · November 21, 2018 at 4:25 am

    Yes brother. I have posted it there too and linked it back here. Happy reading!

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