what is this web on the dark web?

A dark web is a nested network on the Internet whose very constitution protects the anonymity of its users. The dark web refers to the web found on it.

Are darknet and dark web the same thing?

In the same way that the public can confuse Web page AND Page, “dark web” and “darknet” are sometimes used interchangeably, as if they both refer to the same thing. However, there is a subtlety: a dark web defines a physical infrastructure, a network as such, while the dark web relates to the content contained within it.

To put it another way, the dark web is the container, while the dark web is its content. The Darknet is a network that is generally not very accessible, but participates in its own way in the vast whole that is the Internet. There is also not one, but dark webs. To access them, special software must be used to access these relatively isolated spaces.

Darknet designates an overarching network on the Internet where confidentiality rules are heightened. And the dark web, the web there. // Source: Pexels

It is possible to think of the dark web as a specific subset of deep websince this category defines all digital web content that are not indexed by search engines, for one reason or another. The dark web is considered more difficult to access than the deep web, as it is necessary to deploy specific software.

Since when does the dark web exist?

The term dark web it was invented in the 1970s to evoke isolated networks from ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, for security reasons. However, it was in the early 2000s that the expression began to become popular, as the democratization of the Internet progressed. Since then, the dark web and the dark web have also been used as horror movie titles.

Technically, what is special about a dark web?

Darknets are networks installed on the Internet. We also talk about overlapping networks or “overlapping networks”.

In practice, a darknet is a decentralized physical network that operates peer-to-peer, like the Internet, but with the addition of specific protocols that limit access. Most darknets provide by default a high degree of anonymity of connected peers: in their very design, they include special attention to privacy issues.

Can dark webs communicate with each other?

No, we’re talking about overlapping networks on the internet AND separated from each other. Thor it doesn’t allow you to go to Freenet for example. Furthermore, these do not have the same use: the first provides web browsing tools with a high degree of anonymity; the second is for storing and publishing static documents and pages.

Basically, we can say that each dark network fulfills specific uses, which are accessed through specific tools – Fred or FIW for Freenet, Tor browser for the network of the same name. It should be understood that each of these tools is an entry point to applications made possible by the software layer consisting of dark webs, just as our current software is used to access some applications of the internet.

The specificity of these networks lies simply in the care they take for the confidentiality of users. But this confidentiality is not absolute. Security services and police forces investigate these networks and their investigations sometimes lead them to identify Internet users and to neutralizes groups dedicated to illegal content.

Is the dark web necessarily sulphurous?

Just the fact that it’s called “dark” gives it a dark side. However, the dark web is essentially not sulfur. It’s just a remote area of ​​the Internet where strong privacy practices accommodate both legitimate uses and illegitimate activities. Attempts to statistically code the latter are repetitive and say a little of everything and the opposite: in 2016, two researchers looked at websites accessed by Tor, calculating that 57% of them were illegal. In 2020, two more scientists became interested in the questions formulated in the search engine, and concluded that only 7% of them aimed at illegal activities.

An image sometimes associated with Internet users going to a dark web: they would be strange, or even perform illegal activities. // Source: Andrew

It is impossible to deny that some of the activities available on the dark web are illegal. There was a time when The Silk Road was seen as the “Amazon” of illegal goods and services (ore-Bay of drugsit’s up to you), before being replaced by AlphaBay, The Wall Street market and many other sites more or less specialized in weapons, pedocrime, reselling the tools needed to carry out your cyber attack or order an assassination. It is also in this type of space that resell your personal data, often for less than 10 euros.

That said, in the same way that no Internet user uses the same Google search engine as his or her neighbor, it would be a mistake to lump all Tor or Freenet users into the same illegality basket. . For some, this space can simply be used to discuss: The dark web has its own social networks called Connect, Union Social, Galaxy 3 or Postor. For others, they are used to reach online services from countries that block access — according to its co-founder Roger Dingledine, The top site visited through Tor in 2017 was Facebook.

If you are a political opponent in an authoritarian country, if you are a whistleblower and want to share information without being detected, if you live in Poland and want to get an abortion pill…there are many reasons that can explain the use of this part of the Internet. In a context of phasing out access to American social networks in RussiaTwitter took over a few months ago party to adopt an address accessible by Tor for Russian users.

If it’s better protected from surveillance, why aren’t we surfing the dark web more?

Because of his reputation, of course.

Because guaranteeing his anonymity also comes at a cost. It takes effort. Tor, for example, works like a AfL Layered: Instead of taking the most direct route between your computer and the server hosting the page you’re viewing, it goes through a series of encrypted servers, called “nodes.” Doing so makes it very difficult (but not impossible) to trace yours IP address. The downside is that the connection is much slower and slower than on the “surface network”.

Finally, if the advanced privacy allowed by the dark web is sometimes advantageous, the way it works presents other problems: it is impossible for the user to know who is hosting a particular site or whether their intentions are good. Scams and malware are more common than in the “clean” area. Not even if the “nodes” are always reliable.

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