#1 — The Dark Web is a Subset of the Deep Web
The Deep Web is a classification for webpages that are not accessible by the general public. Generally speaking, the Deep Web is about secrecy. You can read your email on the web but those pages are not accessible to everyone. The same thing goes for your banks account. A great example of the Deep Web is any company’s internal network. This network probably has employee handbooks and financial data that are not accessible to anyone. Web forums that require logins are another example of the Deep Web. These are just sites that are not available to just anyone.
The Dark Web is a classification for webpages being served through anonymization software. The Tor Brower allows you to browse the web anonymously. The other side of this is being able to host content anonymously. Tor hidden services are a common way of doing this. It allows people to host websites anonymously.
These are two classes of websites. The Dark Web is not a deeper level to the Deep Web. In fact, some sites could be classified as being a part of the Deep Dark Web. An example would be a web forum that you need a membership to access that is being served by a Tor hidden service site.
#2 — The Dark Web is Bigger than the Normal Web.
People frequently confuse the Dark Web and the Deep Web. They are not the same thing. They are not even very related to each other.
The Dark Web is really small. At most there are tens of thousands of Dark Web Sites. It is almost unimaginably small compared the Normal Web. The Normal Web has over one billion sites.
The Deep Web is really big. It includes all the content on the web that is not publicly accessible. For example, it includes every email on Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. The Deep Web is probably an order of magnitude larger than the regular or surface web.
#3 — The Dark Web is Controlled by the Government
The Dark Web is dominated by Tor hidden services. The principles of the Tor network where developed in the 90’s by the United States Naval Research Laboratory. Also, the US government gives money to the Tor Project. This has made conspiracy theory fans think that the US controls the project. Those people fail to recognize that the code is open source. Any backdoors would have been found by researchers by now. The parts of the US government help Tor because they also want tools for anonymous communications.
#4 — The Dark Web is Hard to Access
#5 — It is Illegal to Access the Dark Web.
In the USA, it is perfectly legal to access the Dark Web. It just as legal as accessing the regular web. What you do on either web might be illegal. Attempting to buy illegal drugs is, of course illegal. Doesn’t really matter if you do it on the Dark Web, Normal Web, or on the street.
#6 — There are Secret Layers to the Dark Web
Most Dark Web sites are available to anyone with the Tor Browser. The only extra level to the Dark Web would be sites that could be considered Deep Web. An example would be a members only web forum hosted through a tor hidden service. There is no Quantum Deep Web, Marianas Web, or Charter Web. These are fake. They have been made up by 4chan trolls. That picture of the iceberg is bullshit.
#7 — You need a “Closed Shell System” to Access the “Real” Dark Web
A “Closed Shell System” is a meaningless term. It is a bit like when alt-health people talk of, “toxins”. They never define it so it is impossible to debunk. Lucky for us, they also provide no absolutely no evidence to support their claims. I could say with the same authority that; my toaster is the access point for the “Real” Dark Web. This is nothing more than a conspiracy theory spread by shills and the ignorant.
#8 — You can Buy Anything on the Dark Web
Good luck with that. The real Silk Road market place has been shut down since 2013. Many have tried to replace it but none have. Almost every person claiming to be selling illegal goods and services on these copycat sites are scams or just plain fake. The copycat sites will often seed their own markets with fake postings to make it seem more genuine. I’m not going to say it is impossible but there are better ways to break the law. These market places are a solution looking for a problem. Drugs and sex are bought on the street every day. Guns can be easily bought no questions asked at a gun show.
#9 — All Cybercrime Takes Place on the Dark Web
Most cybercrime happens on the regular web. Cybercrime does happen on the Dark Web, but much more happens on the regular web. The Dark Web is frequently used by criminals for communications. But the actual crimes like phishing sites are executed on the surface web. Crime happens where the victims are.
#10 — The Dark Web is Only Used for Crime.
The Dark Web is used by many types of people. There are criminals on the Dark Web. There are also political dissidents, privacy advocates, and others. Major organizations like ProPublica, Facebooks, and DuckDuckGo all have web sites on the Dark Web.
Interested in exploring the Dark Web further? Check out my other post about using Tor in your Python programs.