Dark web — is it really dark?
Google is known as the most powerful search engine in today’s world. Completing more than 3.5 billion google searches per day, google-bots / google spiders crawl the world wide web every second, performing massive web searches at super high speed. But regardless of the extreme server power of google or any other search engine existing today, there is an area in the WWW which google spiders or google bots aren’t welcome. Those areas are technically invisible to google spiders and there is no way to access those areas unless you know how to make the call.
Is dark web a dangerous ghost in World Wide Web?
Actually most people believe the answer to be yes. But the reality is little bit different. Dark web is actually an area in World Wide Web which is open to anyone. Since it is invisible to search engines, the chance of someone accidentally entering to a dark web address is less than 1%.
Anonymity can be considered as the most powerful feature in dark web. But it is well known and a globally accepted fact that dark web has become an extremely dangerous place due to this anonymity. It is said that one wrong movement or a simple mistake in dark-web can cause an entire bankrupt or a life time sentence. Due to the feature of anonymity, most of the illegal businesses like black-market weaponry, prostitution, child-pornography, drugs and harmful chemicals etc. are highly functional in dark web. Law enforcement agencies like NSA, FBI, CIA use various tactics and operations continuously to penetrate dark web and hunt down those illegal businesses. But the protocols and designing architectures used in dark-web accessing points aren’t simply hack-able. After the massive attack launched by a famous group of hackers named “Anonymous:” in 2010 against the child pornography web market inside the dark-web, still there is no significant victory in cyber battle against the illegal dark web sites.
As it was mentioned earlier, accessing dark web is actually a piece of cake if you know the method. Accessing to dark web doesn’t need any special technical abilities. There are web browsers which can be used to access dark web addresses. “Tor” is the most popular browser. The basic necessity to be in the dark web — Anonymity is by default provided by the “Tor” browser. The important fact is even in the tor browser, searching dark web content is impossible to do. This is because contents in the dark web are invisible to all search engines regardless of the browser that is used. So how these sites exist without being detected to google spiders or any other search engine? The simple answer is they are different from normal web sites.
The difference lies in the web requests. There is a standard way of requesting a web site from a server. Once we type something to search in a search engine, it will request all pages (Not all pages are requested but for the simplicity it is assumed that all are requested) from web servers and search the content that you asked. Since requesting a page from a web server has standard process, search engines follow that and get the web pages from servers. But when it comes to dark web sites the story is different. Those web address are configured to a different requesting manner and search engines have no idea about that. So theoretically those web addresses are invisible to google spiders or any other search engines. (Most dark web addresses use powerful encryption methods and hidden requesting techniques.)
But if someone knows how to make the request he/she can directly use it (type the URL) in a dark web accessible browser and access the web address without any trouble. Normally almost all the dark web addresses are onion addresses. An onion address consists of separate layers. Every outer layer wraps inner layers. As the name suggests it is like layers in an onion!
Set of layers provide the anonymity and also encrypt the content. End users of data is invisible to the outside parties. (But this anonymity is not a guaranteed one. There are incidents that law enforcement agencies were able to track down notorious people who performed illegal activities via dark web.)
“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth — anonymously and posthumously.” — Thomas Sowell
Dark web provides the first one. Not all content in dark web can be considered as bad or harmful. As Thomas Sowell said there are a lot of chats and web sites where people can express their ideas freely and anonymously. (ex: Hidden Answers) Normally in dark web there are billions of transactions that happen everyday via bitcoins. Most of them are related to black market businesses. But some very large amount of anonymous donations are also occurred via dark web. Dark web is not a special area in web. It is a part of the same web that we all use everyday and it is an area where you can visit without reveling yourself.