Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Dark Side of the Internet

Published on the Sunday Times (TechSunday) 16th November 2014

Edward Snowden, the computer wizard who disclosed illicit U.S. government surveillance, unknowingly helped popularize the dark web in recent months after it was reported that he repeatedly used this technology to communicate with journalists and managed to evade even the most sophisticated spying technology used by the United States.

Julian Assange, another controversial figure, founder of Wikileaks and considered as an enemy of the state by American politicians, who to this day has already spent two years living under asylum condition in the Ecuadorian embassy in the U.K. started hosting his website on the deep web in 2004 and no one ever managed to trace it back to him.  However in 2006 he decided to go public and that is when his problems started, nevertheless he still recommends to people who decide to reveal information about government wrongdoing to still use the deep web to communicate with him so as to be able to conceal their identity and avoid reprisals.

Search engines cache the web almost daily to be able to provide results according to the search keywords we use.  Nevertheless they are only able to spider a fraction of the entire internet.  There is even a larger interconnection of webpages lurking below the surface, most people have never been around the dark web even tough recent estimates are guesstimating that the Dark Web is actually a hundred times larger than the known-web we surf daily.  You cannot reach such depths when surfing using standard web browsers like Chrome or Explorer or just by using Google or Yahoo.