I think its safe to say that a lot of us understand internet from where google starts going forward, you want to learn something, you google it and then it appears. Everything you need, google can lead you to it in two or three clicks and you are in. However, are you aware that there is a full universe of the web that you don’t know about called the Deep Web. It is a fact that the stuff we put on the internet doesn’t disappear, it’s stored on some servers somewhere where every Jack and Jill will never know, except for the truly diligent ones. I am sure a few people have heard about the case of Oscar Pistorious where detectives had to fly to USA, visited Apple headquarters and asked for retrieval of messages in his phone, that had been in there prior to the murder of his girlfriend. Though some of these might be hidden to the public eye, twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest they have got this information.
Then there are some that believe in secrecy, that do not want their information found on the surface web and have created secret urls that are untraceable by google, these are in a space called the Deep Web. The Deep web is that, these are sites you can’t get to via a google search.
Before I researched on the deep web, I thought the deep web was for nefarious activities only. There are nefarious activities that take place drug trafficking, human trafficking, paedophiles, unethical hacking, demanding of ransom, assassination rings and black markets eg Silk Road. The nefarious activities take place on what is called the Dark Web, which is part of the Deep web but on the darker side of it.
Scary to imagine as this might be, I found some entertaining stories in the research. ID information, credit card details and information is sold in the deep web and there are also sites that provide information against oppressive governments in the deep web. In my mind, I was thinking this must be a tight knit community until I read that there are hackers that hack into paedophile accounts and demand ransom from them. Ah, there is no honour among thieves for real. However, this makes activity on the surface web the more dangerous because you never know who might want to steal your information and sell it to the next bidder, so playing cleanly on the internet will not hurt.
There is something that I found to be a bit controversial in my research, that Facebook has got a Deep web version of its website for countries that do not allow access to it, eg China. I have always thought that Facebook is on the surface, just a fun website where people hang out what if China believes that it makes people unproductive and would rather do away with it, what if the Chinese government believes that Facebook leads to procrastination or it teaches people values against what the Chinese people stand for (not that I know what they stand for). Who is Facebook that it will lead people to commit crimes against their governments for the sake of sales. The CIA and BBC also have pathways in this space. I was quite irate until I read any article that says the dark web is a myth that only takes 1% of the internet, the rest of us are on the surface and on the legal deep web.
For those that have seen the picture of the iceberg, showing the difference between the deep web and surface web, it might be a good idea to rethink, it is not as bad as it seems. In a basket of apples, there are always going to be a few bad apples. The internet is a good place to be, but walk on it as you would in your own neighbourhood, nicely, without treading on anyone’s foot and being respectful, you do not want to give hackers any leverage.
Secure your gadgets, take password generation seriously and protect your information.
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