Dark Web

Also known as or similar to darknets, the dark web is part of the deep web, which is the part of the Web not indexed by web search engines. The dark web is made of darknets, which may be peer-to-peer networks, or popular networks run by larger organisations (e.g. Tor, Freenet, I2P, Riffle).

The non-encrypted normal web is referred to as Clearnet by users of the dark web. Onion routing is a technique used to ensure traffic anonymity (e.g. the Tor dark web, which uses the top-level domain (TLD) .onion).

The dark web is distinguishable from deep web in that it needs custom software.

I2P provides anonymous hosting of websites. Layered encryption ensures that the identities and locations of darknet users stay anonymous. The software routes users’ data through a vast network of intermediate servers, and the information needs to be decrypted by a system node, which leads to the exit node.

ProPublica, an online American newspaper aiming to expose abuses of power in government and industry, has a version of its website available exclusively to Tor users.

However, as can be expected, a great deal of the dark web’s activities are illicit, such as drug dealing, pornography, hate propagandists, including neo-nazis and right-wing groups. Botnet traffic allow, for example, illegal streaming of copyrighted films. These are hidden services impervious to censorship structured on command and control servers. Facebook is the biggest hidden service on the Tor network, and other social media platforms make dark-web versions to evade problems on the Clearnet.

Bitcoin can be used to launder money by exchanger with digital currencies, such as gold coins in World of Warcraft, which can be reconverted to regular currency. This activity is known as darknet market integration. Silk Road is one such online market.