The deep and dark web May 11 2016, 0 Comments

Most of what people visit on the web, including this particular blog post you're reading, is on the 'surface web'. But experts have described the surface web as 'the tip of the iceberg', given the vastness of the deep web. Basically, the deep web consists of parts of the worldwide web that aren't indexed by search engines, meaning Google, Bing and Yahoo! can't access the content in such websites.

What is the deep web?

The deep web is the place where people who don't want to be found hide, and that is because they deliberately put measures to restrict search engines from accessing and caching their content. Accessing the deep web is like getting into a different realm of the online world, and this realm is complete with email services, online banking and even video sharing sites.

Differences between the deep and dark web

However, the deep web is often confused with the dark web. The dark web is indeed a part of the deep web, but the dark web is mainly used by those who intend to perform illegal activities. While the deep web is not indexed by search engines, it is fairly accessible, but the dark web requires an entire set of procedures.

Normal internet browsers can't access the dark web, so you need something like the Tor browser. Additionally, it is almost impossible to search for content in the dark web, although there are dedicated search engines for that, but you will need to know the exact address of the dark website you're trying to access.

How it works

The dark web manages to remain anonymous through the use of 'onion' routing, instead of the regular routing networks. It relies on peer-to-peer networks that bounce a signal through various nodes around the world so the owner of the content can't be located. Furthermore, use of bitcoin makes the dark web a favourite for illegal activities.

Nevertheless, there is some good that comes out of the dark web, including providing a platform for whistle-blowers to reveal confidential information without being identified. Edward Snowden was particularly fond of the dark web and used it to leak information governments around the world were hiding from the people. Activists in China and other communist regimes have also used the dark web to show the inhumanity they suffer, and led to revolutions around the world.

Granted, most of the activity done on the deep and dark web is illegal; after all, that's where you can buy drugs, guns and even hire hitmen. But there are also those who just value privacy and would like to keep their activities away from prying eyes.

Is it possible to shut down?

The murkiness and vastness of the deep web makes it nearly impossible to shut down without affecting regular Internet activities, and it is because of that that it will always exist as the evil brother to the surface web.