What is the Dark Web?
The dark web refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines. Also known as “darknet”, the dark web is a component of the deep web that describes the wider scope of content that does not appear during regular Internet browsing activities.
Specific browsers like Tor are required to access dark websites, which contain anonymous message boards, online markets for medicines, exchanges of stolen financial and private data and other illegal content. Transactions in this hidden economy are often paid for with bitcoin, and physical goods are routinely shipped to hide buyers and sellers from law enforcement.
How Dark Web Works
The dark web has become an online market for illegal goods. Many innovations from legitimate online sellers like Amazon and eBay, such as customer reviews and seller ratings, have been adopted to facilitate sales of black market items.
The dark web attracts users who seek anonymity when doing business. The intentions can be noble, as with journalists seeking to interview citizens of repressive countries, where communications are monitored. Conversely, the anonymity of the dark web attracts criminal actors such as drug traffickers, hackers and child pornography dealers. There is also a growing service economy in the dark web in which contract killers and other illegal agents advertise their services in a way that they could not go through traditional channels.
Dark Web vs. Deep Web
Dark canvas and deep canvas are often misused interchangeably. To clarify: the Deep Web includes all pages that do not appear when you perform a web search. This covers everything that requires a connection, such as personal emails, online banking or other similar sites. Conversely, the dark web relies on encryption to keep irrefutably harmful content anonymous.
The Size of the Dark Web Economy
In 2020, the Economist reported that the drug activity fueled by the dark web increased from around $ 17 million in 2020 to about $ 180 million in 2020. However, these are just estimates, because the very nature of the dark web makes it difficult to accurately assess the economy it supports, including sales of firearms and other illegal transactions.
Regulate the Dark Web
Regulators have struggled to curb the activity of the dark web. After the popular dark web drug market known as Silk Road was suppressed by the FBI in 2020, Silk Road 2 appeared and immediately flourished, until the FBI and Europol closed it in 2020 However, Silk Road 3 emerged soon after.
In addition to the difficulty of closing the dark web markets, the technology has evolved to the point where the open source code OpenBazaar allows decentralized markets, in the same way that torrents allow decentralized file sharing. Consequently, the dark web economy continues to grow, despite the best efforts of the police.