The Dark Web

The World Wide Web (WWW) offers a way for people to explore topics of interest and connect with one another in a way that was not conceivable before 1991. With the wonders of the WWW came the ability of individuals to partake in illegal activity through use of the Dark Web. I learned more about the complexities of the Dark Web upon reading George Hurlburt’s “Shinning Light on the Dark Web”. Hurlburt elaborates on the accessibility of the Dark Web using software such as The Onion Router (OTR). OTR conceals an IP address thus allowing users to roam the WWW anonymously. Due to software like OTR legal action against those taking part in illegal drug activity, arms deals, child pornography, and other crimes tend to be challenging. Law enforcement officials across the globe must plan to act as one and these efforts are expensive. Hurlburt concluded his article calling for a re-design of the WWW to fight against cybercriminals around the world. Within the current set up of the WWW, the Dark Web can not be erased and only distorted with help of law enforcement. However, the Dark Web does not only act as a way to take part in illegal activity for users. It can be used as an outlet for those wanting to escape oppressive regimes or simply wanting to have an anonymous internet experience. Douglas Evan’s article “Unpicking the mythologies around the dark web” focused more about the lighter side of the Dark Web. The word that caught my attention in Evan’s description of the Dark Web was comparing the service to a “frontier”. A frontier can be seen as barbaric and a test of civilization, while also emphasizing the stress of individualism. The Dark Web reflects all three ideas. Those not using the Dark Web for the negative explore intellectual forums or mindless trivial facts about life. Evan’s noted the importance of newspaper providers like The New York Times and The Guardian having a Dark Web version of their websites. These are examples of the Dark Web actually promoting a public good for those unable to practice basic civil liberties such as freedom of speech. My perception of the Dark Web has been changed after this week’s discussion and readings. I only focused on the negative side of the Dark Web and never realized the positive benefits. The Dark Web is not a simple service, but rather allows humanity to show their dark or light side.

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1 Comment

  1. I, too, never realized the lighter side of the dark web. I always assumed that it was strictly for serious hackers and/or really horrible humans. I can understanding wanting to search the web anonymously. Especially since now it seems like every time I google something I get inundated with commercials for similar products for weeks on end. I’m not sure if our privacy is completely gone but it would be nice to escape the every growing eye of the internet from time to time.

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