According to a very widespread metaphore, if the internet we use daily was an iceberg it would only be the top of it. Beneath the surface, most of the internet is sunk and is called “Dark Web”. There -deep in the big nowhere- there is a galaxy of “sites” devoted to buying and selling drugs, weapons and services from “hackers” and paid murderers. Of course, as is well known, the imagination of people glides and easily stretches a reputation until it does not go any further. No, “Dark Web” is not the largest part of the internet, without that, of course, meaning it does not exist.
Reality, as usual, is quite different. The definition given by the specialising in technology issues “Recorded Future” is that:
“Sites that require special software or special permission to access them are “Dark Web””.
They do not have to deal with illegal activities. But how can you get into this? The software that hears in the name “Tor” is, by far, the most widespread way. Although the truth is -without going into technical details- that what it does, does not differ greatly from money laundering as experts say. It flushes, in other words, the addresses of the users so that they are not easily identifiable.
Dark Web does not host, in fact, more than 9 thousand sites
Dangling to sound a cliché, of course, where there is smoke (usually) there is fire. So, it is only not accidental that it became famous through the “Silk Road”, a portal that was notorious for the illegal services it offered, although it does not work anymore. “Dark Web” is not only that: large information networks, such as the “New York Times” and “Facebook”, provide “mirror sites” (p. s.: sites that work like a mirror of the original) to users living in authoritarian regimes to be informed. Freedom from crime is, of course, a few centimeters away many times.
But how big is this secret web? According to the “Recorded Future” research, in fact, it does not host more than 9 thousand sites. A minimum number compared to the 200 million sites of “normal” internet. Indeed, it is also lagging behind in other areas, since language sharing is far from fair: 86% of the pages are in English (compared with 54% of the “normal internet”). As for the quality of the ecosystem’s operation? Here the percentages are plummeting, since while we are accustomed to 99% of the sites we type to run at any time, in “Dark Web” will have to be almost reconciled with the oposite, since 90% of the sites having problems throughout the day.
The worst, however, is the fact that you can easily fall victim to fraud when using “Tor” software to navigate to “Dark Web”. Even the slightest mistake in typing an address can send the “predators” against you without even understanding it. Your big fear that someone will steal your card numbers and codes can become reality in no time. That, in other words, can happen to the real world if you try to have illegal transactions while you do not correctly own the codes of the underworld. Innocent users sparkle like a bait in the dark waters of “Dark Web”.
As the years go by and the rules of the internet are getting tighter, Logic says “Dark Web” will shrink.
Eventually, “Dark Web” if it was an iceberg would be a very thin, almost transparent layer at the bottom of the glacier. Indeed, the researchers found that the nine most dangerous for illegal trading sites of the dark Internet are too difficult to access. There are only few “links” to them, making navigation, especially for inexperienced, from difficult to impossible. But all this is both expected and reasonable: as you can not buy grenades at a real-world department store, so you need the skills to find what you want in “Dark Web”. The occult and unusual ecosystem requires a lot of experience both in computers and in illegal transactions; so that’s why “Tor” has never managed to become a mass phenomenon.
So, as the years go by and the rules of the internet are getting tighter, Logic says “Dark Web” will shrink. Of course, no one can safely predict the future; as no one ever expected that one of the biggest weapons of the revolutions in North Africa, known as the “Arab Spring”, would be a social media that responce under the name of “Twitter”.