Its no longer the era of doom, technology provides the freedom, the fascists have the wealth, but we have the imagination and the tools to relieve ourselves from the slavery.
On January 13th 2015, a criminal trial began on the accused leader of the Silk Road, a black market in an area of the internet called the Deep Web, the deep web is vast, and often confused with dark sites, and thousands of times larger than the visible public internet, also called the surface web, which is accessible to the public through search engines.
The deep web is not a place, its simply accounts for all the unindexed content online or on secret servers holding Banking Data, Administrative code for Governments, Corporations and Universities, it’s like looking under the hood of the actual internet. Over time, the deep web has become inhabited by people of all types who wanted to use it for privacy some of whom include; Journalists, Whistleblowers, Dissidents, Hackers, Criminals, and privacy advocates , and this hidden area of the web is called the dark net and it’s accessible with a software service called TOR.
Tor is open source software available to the public. Tor was originally developed by the US military and now its open source, publicly funded, while the law enforcement and the media have painted a picture that Tor and the Dark net are deadly tools for criminals, it’s also important to acknowledge that they are largely used for good by government agencies, journalists and Dissidents around the world. The success of transactions performed in the deep web is largely dependent on the innovative technological combination and use of tor and Bitcoin, Bitcoin is a technology that uses cryptographic code to create digital Currency. The sender transmits their bitcoin code through a ledger called the black chain, to arrive at the recipient. Bitcoin is not really anonymous, but if used according to its convention, it facilitates e-commerce without revealing identity.
Bitcoin is an ideal currency for deep web as it allows for anonymity and is outside the control of banks and government. The deep web has provided and created a platform for hack groups to promote certain beliefs, some of which include the freedom of access to information and has also created a platform for dark sites or amazons and eBay for heroin, cocaine and drug trafficking. The deep web on the other hand has also created a large community of light minded people who have a common goal of choosing freedom over tyranny. The management and support of the deep web is a collaborative effort as it’s not run by a single administrator, but rather by a chain of administrators with the same goals and ideas which come directly from the community itself.
At its core, the deep web communities focus on getting around regulation from the state, it has been noted that banks and the state control nearly every aspect of our lives. In the deep web, there is an opportunity to live your life the way you see it fit despite their efforts. This is possible given based on the fact that the deep web is true identity proof and does not reveal anyone’s true identity unless otherwise.
Despite the goals of the deep web being freedom and libertarian, we can’t rule out the fact that the deep web communities are not abused by certain users who take advantage of its anonymity aspect. In conclusion, the deep web has provided a safe haven for dark sites, some of which have been shut down through collaborative efforts between the FBI and the CIA, in ways which break privacy laws of computer usage and impersonation so that they can get true identities of the deep web users. In my next article I will discuss more about the darknet markets and the Silk Road drug market.
By Shafique Kabali