The Dark Web

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The Deep Web: A Hidden Side of the Internet

The internet is a bigger place then one can probably realize. People know about BBC iPlayer, Google, Amazon, and Facebook without knowing what is lurking beyond the respectable and user-friendly websites. The Deep Web is a term used to refer to a specific collection of websites existing on the encrypted network. Deep Web cannot be found by the traditional ways of browsing or traditional search engines (Chandler, 2013).

Exploring the Dark Web and the Deep Web

It is a small corner of the internet where Dark Web and Deep Web loom in a darker corner and one can only access them by using Tor. Also known as the hidden or invisible web, are component of a world wide web whose content is not indexed by the search engines (Chen, 2011, p. 6). The identity of all sites in the deep web is hidden using the Tor encryption tool. Tor is a tool with the ability to hide one's activity and identity while online (MA, 2008, p. 268). One can use Tor to spoof his location to appear and mislead people that you are in a different country hence making it appear as a VPN service.

The Security Risks and Dangers of the Deep Web

When websites are run through Tor, they have some effects and it can also multiply the effect. For one to access a site on the Deep Web that uses Tor encryption, one needs to use Tor. Tor has several security layers of secrecy than the act of using it to visit an open site (Kleinman, 2017). Sites on the Deep Web can be visited by anyone and it is not easy to find out who is behind the sites. It is also dangerous for your identity to be discovered.

Different Types of Encryption Tools for the Dark Web

It is worth noting that not all Dark Web sites do use Tor; others use I2P services that include Silk Road Reloaded but with the same principle that a visitor should use the same encryption tool as the site. It is important that one finds the type so as to enter the URL and access the infamous sites of the Dark Web such as Silk Road and its offspring (Khelghati, n.d., p. 5). The Silk Road had some illegal and recreational activities such as selling and buying of drugs and other scary things. However, there are also legitimate users of the Deep Web. For the legal users, one may find that they are people who operate within closed, totalitarian communities who use the Deep Web for communication with the outside world (Kleinman, 2017). A good example is the U.K and the U.S government that snooped on the web use; one might feel it is sensible to communicate in the Dark Web.

The Dark Web: Crime, Privacy, and Whistleblowing

In August 2015, the Dark Web hit headlines when it was realized that more than 20 GB of information was illegally retrieved from A. Madison site destined to help uninterested partners to cheat on their spouses was posted on the Dark Web (Chandler, 2013). Hackers illegally retrieved the information and threatened to expose it if the site is not closed down and as a result, they obey the threat and closed down the site (MA, 2008, p. 270). The hackers have gone ahead to blackmail the spouses of A. Madison users by demanding a payment of $ 2500 or else their infidelity will be exposed. This led the U.K government to launch a cybercrime team to handle the Dark Web with the intention of cracking down serious crime gangs and child pornography. The Deep Web has a strong application to privacy advocates with the benefit of the need of tracking to protect their secrecy from advertisers (Chen, 2011, p. 9).

The Dual Nature of the Deep Web

Deep Web sites are used by several groups of people such as the police, military, journalists, and whistleblowers. However, criminal activities are also taking place in the same place; such acts include drugs, child pornography, hit men for hire, and weapons trading (Kleinman, 2017). Some of these criminal activities are taking place simply because the actors are hiding every detail about themselves, for instance, if one needs the services of hit men, you need to visit their website where you find a substandard video with chilling content where a white man is engulfed in flames as the arsonist stands there watching. Besa Mafia is a site on the dark web that offers the services of hitmen while Pirate.London is a personal website (Chandler, 2013). When one click on the email to the administrator, you need to enter your details such as location, contacts, full names, and email (Chen, 2011, p. 12). Once all these are entered the administrators of the website will be able to know the person they are dealing with including location while the one posing as a client does not know the person at the receiving end's particulars since they are hiding (Kleinman, 2017). Since they hide all the information about themselves, it becomes difficult to trace them. Anytime they realize that one is spying on them, they issue death threats and promise to ruin one's life. They also threaten to place child porn to your computer. They are capable of planting incriminating evidence across the net (Khelghati, n.d., p. 7). However, some undercover whistleblowers have been able to access the Besa Mafia website through back door with the assistance of hackers and successfully watched the interaction inside the dark web murder-for-hire site with their customers (MA, 2008, p. 273). After hacking their systems it was found that most of their clients are business partners, spouses, and politicians who want their rivals killed, beaten or raped. They are paid hundreds of thousands through Bitcoin.

Whistleblowing and the Power of the Deep Web

A whistleblower E. Snowden collected information from the Deep Web site that made him be controversial worldwide and journalists across the globe rely on his information and believe to be a safe option to the public web when looking for dangerous or sensitive information (Chen, 2011, p. 15).

The Dark Side of the Deep Web: Criminal Activities and Online Currency

The anonymous character of the system has enabled the criminals to enjoy various stripes, child pornography, trading in illegal business such as illegal guns to stealing of credit cards. These activities are facilitated by the existence of online currency, the Bitcoin.

The Legality and Government Use of the Deep Web

Lastly, it is important to note that it is legal to use Deep Web and most people are beginning to use it to maintain privacy while online. Apart from being used for illegal activities, it is also used by the government states to gather and monitor online activities.


Chandler, N. (2013, December 23). How the Deep Web Works. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from

Chen, H. (2011). Dark Web Research Overview. Dark Web, 3-18. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-1557-2_1

Khelghati, M. (n.d.). Deep web content monitoring. Deep web content monitoring, 1(1), 3-9. doi:10.3990/1.9789036541237

Kleinman, J. (2017, October 26). Things You Can Do on the Dark Web That Aren't Illegal. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from

MA, J. (2008). Classification of Deep Web Databases Based on the Context of Web Pages. Journal of Software, 19(2), 267-274. doi:10.3724/sp.j.1001.2008.00267

August 14, 2023


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