The Dark Web — What It Is and How It Came to Be
Even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you surely know about the dark web. After all, it’s been a topic of many horror films, books, and video games. You’ve heard about all the nefarious business that goes on over there — the red rooms, hitmen for hire, human trafficking… The name alone is enough to invoke a sense of dread.
But if we look past the stories and myths, what is the dark web actually? And if all of what you’ve heard is true, how come such a thing is allowed to exist?
Three Tiers of the Internet
To fully understand what the dark web is, you need to learn the difference between three terms: the dark web, the deep web, and the surface web.
The Surface Web
You regularly access this part of the internet by using Chrome, Firefox, or other popular browsers. Exploring the surface web is easy — just connect to the internet and type your query into your preferred search engine.
The Deep Web
Many people tend to use the terms deep web and dark web interchangeably, which causes a lot of confusion. In truth, these are two completely separate parts of the internet.
You can still access the deep web through a regular browser, but it’s not available to everyone. It contains rather specific information, so its content is often password-protected. For instance, your Facebook feed belongs to the deep web — it’s accessible to you, but not to everyone on the internet.
The Dark Web
Finally, the dark web is much more difficult to reach than both the surface and the deep web. You can’t visit it using a regular browser — you need a special one, such as the Tor browser. Even then, you won’t be able to see all parts of it, but only those websites whose URLs you know, like those onion links found here.
The dark web is, essentially, a part of the internet that has no regulations. No one is in charge of it — not the government, nor any business or corporation. That’s why illegal activities thrive there — though, of course, that’s not all you can find on the dark web.
Who Made the Dark Web?
Though the U.S government has no control over the dark web, it did originally develop it. At first, U.S spies stationed in faraway places used it to communicate and share information. Of course, they valued secrecy and anonymity above all, and that became one of the staples of the dark web even in its later stages.
Eventually, the civil rights groups got a hold of the deep web project, and it started spreading like wildfire. New servers popped up all across the world until it became what it is today — a series of hidden websites that aren’t available to everyone.
The dark web is an intriguing place — not because of the myths, but more so because it sounds so mysterious and full of possibilities. But before you dive into it, inform yourself about it thoroughly. The dark web doesn’t have a safety net like the surface one — so you need to be extremely careful.