The internet can be a pretty scary place. Yes, there’s cute cat videos, but there also a bunch of other creepy things that float under the surface. There’s way more to it than what meets the eye. There exists a dark, eerie side of the internet which is called the ‘dark web’.
Before we delve into the dark web, let’s learn a thing or two about the ‘deep web’. Web content that exists on websites but that can’t be accessed by regular search engines like Google and Bing, fall under the purview of the deep web. It usually contains government databases, legal forums and private archives. These sites have never been spidered or listed by Google or other servers. Here are some examples:
Now the ‘dark web’ is a small part of the Deep Web that requires special software to access. You can’t reach these through normal search engines and you can’t access these sites on regular browsers like Chrome, IE etc. There are several other softwares used to access them, TOR being the most popular.
Here’s a basic depiction of the entire thing:
You’re probably wondering what will you find in these uncharted waters. First of all, the dark web is a place one shouldn’t really visit. Why? Most of the things on there are gruesome, and illegal.
What do you find there? Here’s a list: live murders, people paying to see innocent victims being tortured, drug cartels, hitmen markets and child pornography. And this is just the beginning of the dark web. There are criminals, terrorist groups looking to recruit members, hackers who can leak your personal information at the touch of a button and gory forums we can’t even begin to describe. You can even buy guns here unfortunately. It’s also a home to snuff films, which as defined by Urban dictionary are movies where the actors actually end up getting murdered while shooting. Yes, they are killed in real life while their murder scene is being shot in the movie. (Source)
In short, if it’s illegal, it’s on the dark web.
Here are some screenshots of the website (some of them have been shut down by the cops):
Mr. Nice Guy, a famous online drug cartel:
Bandicam, a hitman network that is still active:
Silk Road, an online drug cartel that was shut down by the cops in 2015:
Armory, a store selling illegal weapons, has not been closed till date:
If you find yourself wondering- if there is so much criminal activity, why isn’t the entire thing seized and shut down? The answer is simple:
Dark web browsers such as TOR were created for the military to send out cryptic information without getting trace and hence the IP address remains hidden. TOR usually assigns a fake IP to the user and the device becomes very difficult to trace. Most dark web sites keep changing their names and URLs and hence hunting them down is very tough! (Source)
Remember: Be safe on the internet!
(All images are from Wikipedia/Urban dictionary)