What is the Dark Web?

, Posted in Blog,

Dark Web is a term referring to a collection of websites which hide their identity using the TOR encryption tool. According to the legend you have to stand in a bathroom, with one candle lit and say “Dark Web” into the mirror three times in a row to access the black internet. But you have to be brave to face wicked twisted things it will show you. Just kidding. We decided to start our article with a joke because there are tons of rumors going around the dark web. Keep reading, and you will find out what is the dark web and which rumors about it are fakes and which are valid.

What the Difference Between Dark Web, Deep Web & Surface Web?

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Surface Web

If to compare Internet to the ocean, then we splash on its surface. Therefore, our Internet is called Surface Web. It contains our favorite sites like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Reddit, we communicate through it and search for stuff, naively believing that on the Internet there are already no things that can surprise us. To make you at least approximately aware of the entire volume of the World Wide Web, think about the fact that Google, the largest search engine, covers no more than 4-16% of all information contained in the network. Spooky, isn’t it? The rest of websites that neither Google nor other search engines can index belong to the Deep Web. And the Deep Web’s abysmal places with unknown eerie creatures are called the Dark Web.

Although the surface Internet is a relatively safe place, you may still run a risk of malicious outer impact. We’re talking about malware ads, tracking software, phishing websites, inbuilt mining scripts, etc. To protect your personal info and your device always enable an advertisement blocker while surfing the web.

Deep Web

Below the surface of the digital sea, there is a deep network (deep web). There you will find abandoned and left unattended websites gathering dust without moderation and maintenance, databases of research offices, government databases and other things that are not intended for the public, simply saying that are not indexed by search robots.

Most of the information on the Deep Web is safe and harmless. Moreover, Deep Web involves the significant, about 90%, portion of the entire Internet (Dark Web involves no more than 0,1%), it contains over 550 billion documents, while the surface Internet contains only about 1 billion documents. The information on the Deep Web is often absolutely legal and available, it is simply inaccessible, it can not be found with the standard searching request. Nevertheless, your standard web browser is able to recognize and open the Deep Web resource you do not need anonymizers and other third-party programs for this purpose.

Dark Web

In contrast to Deep Web dark side of the internet is a dangerous place. Illicit substances, weapons, counterfeit money, stolen cards, fake degrees of study or even passports, cloned debit cards, tools for hacking safes and even heavy weapons are traded in the dark network. And the things listed above are still relatively benign. The deepest recesses of the Dark Web can truly shock you and cause serious psychological trauma. But more about that later.

Neither of the dark web content you can reach from your default browser. The issue is all of their URLs contain a .onion special-use top level domain suffix, therefore, you can get dark web access only via TOR browser.

How the TOR Browser Works?

TOR, which is usually referred as the dark web software, is an anonymity tool used by people seeking privacy and struggling with censorship on the Internet. The term itself stands for The Onion Router (later we will explain the meaning of onion in this name).

How does TOR work?

When a TOR user wants to visit a site, the TOR software visits the TOR directory where it obtains addresses for the TOR relay. The TOR software on the user’s computer then routes the user’s effort to view a site through a random set of TOR relays donated by volunteers. The exact number of routers in the TOR network is for certain unknown the estimated number is more than 6000.
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At the first relay, the user’s computer’s IP address is replaced by the address of the relay. The next relay only sees the address of the previous relay. No single relay knows the whole route, providing strong anonymity protection. Using other tools, many users will encrypt the actual data they’re sending and receiving.

There are plenty of Tor clients for Android as well. So if you desire anonymity, you can do a web search and install an application that fits your needs. However, despite the Tor’s NoScript plugin it still doesn’t block all types of ads. To surf websites from Tor browser without seeing ads install pop up ad blocker for Android.

For example, the user reaches its target topsecret.com, but topsecter doesn’t know the user’s computer digital address. It only knows the address of the last relay that handled the user’s request. If the same user passes to a different site, the process is repeated but with another random chain of relays. As you can see, we wrapped the original data in multiple layers of encryption like an onion. This prevents anyone from aggregating data on an anonymous person’s activities and interfering with their data.

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Since the connection with the resources of the Dark Web passes through dozens of relays, the speed of connection leaves much to be desired. And, although TOR is actively working on solving this problem, don’t expect your internet to be as fast as it used to be. It’s impossible to use search engines including especially designed for use within the Dark Web. They show no relevance and their effectiveness is out of the question. The most popular and in turn the quickest method of navigation in the Dark Web is through the TOR resource directory. We can’t spread such links on our website, just as we can’t spread detailed guide on accessing the Dark Web as it’s against our politics. Thus, if you want to experience a thrill you’ve never known before, you can find all practical information via the clear net.

What’s on the Dark Web?

Here we reach the most exciting, interesting, and at the same time terrifying part of our article. Content in the dark web is as diverse as it is on the open Internet, not all information in the hidden Internet is harmful or illegal. Depends on what for you were looking. But unlike the open Internet, the dark web contains things that will shock an average person, like me and you.
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Who uses the Dark Web, and why?

The Dark Web’s offer of anonymity is definitely a huge draw for people who are looking to procure drugs, weapons, and other illicit items, but it’s also gained notoriety as a safe haven of sorts for people who need to share information but can’t share it safely. Like journalists, for example. The journalists’ vocation is to find secret information but not everyone wants their secrets to be publicized, and in such case, a real threat looms over the journalists’ life.

According to statistics, 1305 journalists were killed over the 1992 to 2018 around the globe because of their investigations. And the dark internet might be the only way for journalists to disclose information without revealing themselves. Another example is people persecuted for their political views as opponents to the authorities.

The Tor Project discourages the use of extra browser add-ons including ads blocking extensions because they are not vetted and might betray your anonymity. Luckily, you can install a desktop version of functional ad blocker for Windows and surf secret web without seeing banners.

However, what perks the black web has for an average internet user with no political background or press card? Take a look at this list:

    • Completely anonymous mailbox

If you are unbearably anxious to send letters and leave no traces or you are obsessed with the theory of “big brother watching”, you can easily register for your purposes a completely anonymous mailbox and correspond from the tank. But be aware as those mailboxes are a favorite way of communications of drug dealers, spies, hackers, spammers, bots, etc which puts certain restrictions on the service.

    • Sharing

There are plenty of places in the Dark Web where you can temporarily host an image or a piece of text. Majority of file sharing websites are free and allow to set a timer which counts down the amount of time left before a file will be erased.

    • Torrent-trackers

In the Dark Web you can find mirrors of different popular warez-sites like Pirate Bay, for example. Of course, it’s still illegal so use it at your own risk.

    • Books

Still illegal just as torrent-trackers though. The amount of books is not very decent, and the situation with new acquisitions is tight, but you might find there something interesting and rare if look deep.

    • Chatting

Going to hidden service just to chitchat is definitely a hobby case as there are enough resources in the clearnet where you can anonymously register and chat about whatever your heart desires. On the secret internet people usually discuss certain business. Anyway, you can register on the local social web Galaxy2 and find there interesting topics and meet new people.

    • Online stores

Online stores and trading platforms are so far the main use of TOR hidden services. Of course, 90% of all goods are just illegal at best and would pose a danger to others at worst. Though Reddit users claimed they found sellers who sold absolutely legal things like carrots and pretzels. All deals in the Dark Web are made in bitcoins thus remember this if you’re going to buy some pastry via TOR.

Horrendous, illegal and bizarre things on the Dark Web

Warning: the information below contains really disturbing facts. If you are easy to scare or have a weak stomach or heart better skip this part!
    • Drugs

Any types of drugs from marijuana-infused brownies to LSD and heroin can be found on the Dark Web markets. All transactions are made in bitcoins, just as well.

    • Contract killers

Dark Web is the best place to hire a killer and get rid of a person so that no one has ever figured out who’s an actual customer. However, price lists are impressive. In addition, the Hitman Network has its own peculiar code of honor: “no children under 16 and no top 10 politicians”.

    • Armour and ammunition

In case if you don’t want or can’t afford to hire a professional killer, you can buy the preferred gun and make things done by yourself. On the Dark Web’s armour black-markets there are enough things to equip your own army.

    • Thematic forums for planning rapes, murders and abduction

Honestly, we personally don’t want to believe such communities really exist, as so terrifying things discussed there. Forum participants share their desires, plans and experiences, ask for advice where it’s more convenient to kidnap children and which drug is the best to stupefy and disorient the victim. The rules of some such forums indicate that in order to access VIP pages it is required to provide a picture of the child tortured by you.

    • Recruitment into ISIS and other terrorist organizations

Due to its privacy, Dark Web has become a favorite place for various terrorist organizations. ISIS reportedly use a hidden network for communication, planning, and recruitment of new members into their ranks.

    • Bestiality

On the expanse of the dark web, there is a website, for ethical reasons we can not name it, which promotes all perverted ways of mutilating and rape of animals. The photos and videos of bestialities are uploaded to the website to satisfy sick desires of the local audience. Most of the victims are small, fragile animals, like rabbits and puppies, which are tortured to their death.

    • Necrophilia websites

Another sick-sick disturbing website, which we also don’t want to publicize, stores photos of killed black people. The front page of the website mentions “Race War is happening, invest in a *name of the website* now”. This website is very horrifying both on racial as well as humanitarian grounds.

    • Human experiments

Many people think that this community is a fake, and we’re desperate to believe it really is, because if everything written on their website is true, then mankind has run out all chances for any redemption. Even the main page of the website mentions “Not all humans are equal for some of them are born superior to others.” As considered by creators of the website people who one step below are homeless and unregistered people with no roots or connections. The list of gruesome experiments includes food and water starvation, radiation tolerance in infants, bleach tolerance in a fetus.

    • Snuff

Snuff is a pornographic film in which a victim is raped, tortured, and killed on a camera. No comments.

    • Red rooms

As of today, no one can credibly prove whether red rooms do exist, as things allegedly happen there are too violent even in comparison to the rest of this list. According to rumors red rooms stream real-time mutilating and disfiguring of a victim and whoever wishes can participate in it by donating a couple of bitcoins. Another reason why red rooms considered to be a myth is a slow speed connection in TOR which is not enough for real-time streams.

Is The Dark Web a Safe Haven For Criminal Activity?

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Well, despite the difficulties in tracing Dark Web is not impenetrable. Legal justice still gets both arms dealers, and drug dealers, and traffickers of other prohibited substances, and their accomplices. The most famous detention took place in 2011, when Ross Ulbricht, owner of the largest drug marketplace Silk Road, was arrested. The second big case was the detention and arrest of Irishman Eric Eoin Marques, the founder, and owner of Tor Freedom Hosting, in 2013. Most of the major Dark Web sources, including web-distributors of child porn, were hosted on the Marques’s hosting. The warrant alleged that Marques was “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet”. The lawsuit against him is still underway since Ireland has not yet given permission for his extradition to the United States.

The most shocking case of detention in the Dark Web was the arrest of Peter Gerard Scully in 2015. Scully was charged with producing and selling snuff videos and porn involving children. Scully originated in Australia left for the Philippines in 2012th where he started his flat-out terrible activity. Most of the children he took from dysfunctional families on the pretext of providing them a better life and education. Though, kidnappings are also not uncommon in his biography. The youngest “heroine” of his film was only 18 months old at the time of the shooting. The Scully’s case was so groundbreaking that the Philippines authorities consider returning the death penalty specifically for such situation. At the time of writing, the lawsuit against Scully was still underway.

Is it illegal?

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The mere being in the Dark Web is not an offense. But you might face a criminal penalty for any illegal activities, such as the purchases of drugs, armor or anything even worse. Laws are the same on the Dark Web as they are in the real world.

The dark web can be a very dangerous place for any unprepared person. You may unconsciously become a part of someone’s illegal activity or catch a nasty virus. Unfortunately, AdLock can’t protect you from such kind of dangers we’re able only to warn you about potential threats on the dark web. And if despite everything written above you still curious about visiting it we have only one advice for you: be safe.

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