The Darker Side of the Internet


Natalie Dearman, Staff Writer

Many have heard of it, some have not. Sometimes it’s mentioned in movies and TV shows as the “dark web”. Growing up, we’ve been given instruction on “don’t click this, don’t click that,” but that’s just the surface web. The “surface web” or most commonly known as the Internet, is actually only 4% of the actual Internet. The other 96%, is the deep web. However, the actual size of the deep web is unknown, due to the fact that it expands at a nearly indistinguishable exponential rate. The surface web being about 19 Terabytes (1000 GB = 1TB) and the deep (or dark) web estimated at 7500 TB.

If you’ve noticed, people tend to switch back and forth between the terms “deep web” and “dark web”, but they aren’t the same thing. The deep web is simply any page on the internet that cannot be found by a search engine, but aren’t necessarily hidden. While the “dark” web on the other hand, is a smaller portion of the deep web where the pages and/or information have been encrypted, aka intentionally hidden and are much more difficult to access.

So why would you visit the deep web? There’s many scare tactics out there to prevent you from accessing it, but it can be as simple as torrenting (illegal streaming and/or downloading) your favorite movies or music. However, this doesn’t mean to ignore those scare tactics, because if you do, you’ll wish you listened.

The deep web basically consists of illegal products and services, government and military databases, (very difficult to find) information on secret groups such as the Illuminati, and a whole lot of generally horrifying things that any sane person would never want to see as long as they live. However, the deep web can also be very useful for good. Citizens in countries with very heavy censorship such as North Korea, can use the deep web to communicate with others, make a living, and sometimes even escape to safety without revealing their identity to the government or those around them.

While it would take millions of dollars’ worth of processing equipment to access a lot of these things, entering the deep web is easier than you’d think. All you have to do is download the Tor browser bundle and set it up on your computer using the Vidalia control panel.

Although it may be somewhat easy to access and have new information at your fingertips, the deep web is full of many viruses that can typically expose personal information such as your full name, address, and even bank information. To avoid getting caught purchasing illegal items, or to simply stay discreet and protect identity, deep web users use Bitcoin (1 Bitcoin = $639) as their worldwide currency.

While it’s highly advised not to access the deep web, the decision is all up to you. Safe surfing!