What is the Dark Web?
You may have heard some of the vague warnings or received the ominous cautions that urge you to seek protection from whatever may be lurking on the “dark web.” But what is the dark web, really? To put it simply, the dark web is a portion of the internet that can only be accessed by special means. And those who access it are completely anonymous.
The Dark Web is a special kind of “Dark”
Not to be confused with the “deep web,” which is the layer of the internet that stores information that can’t be accessed through search engines or without a direct URL, the dark web is a place that cannot be publicly accessed and requires the use of special software. The anonymity of the dark web allows users to remain untraceable and the contents posted are uncensored. The same obscurity that makes it so easy for anyone to post whatever they please, makes it just as difficult for law enforcers to bring them to justice when illegal activity is performed on the dark web. So, not only are the users “dark,” but the content of this dark web is often dark, as well.
The dark web is not always used for ill-intents, however. There have been those users who have used the anonymity that it offers to safely communicate vital information, such as “whistleblowers,” journalists, and activists. With the right software, anyone can access the dark web and post information without the worry of being traced or found out.
The government struggles to shut down sites that are found in operation of illegal activity, but since the users of the dark web are anonymous, there is little more that they can do. “Dark” may not always be a bad thing. But then again, it very well can be. Just as it is with the “surface web,” which is the portion of the internet that we all use on a regular basis, it depends on the user.