The Deep Web

By Deane Barker on November 30, 2009

The dark side of the internet : Interesting article about how software such as Freenet or Tor, combined with “dark address space” combine to form something called the “deep web” (one of many names for it…) – a murky, anonymous places where anything goes, and which is deeper and more vast than we ever imagined.

“The deep web is currently 400 to 550 times larger than the commonly defined world wide web,” he wrote. “The deep web is the fastest growing category of new information on the internet … The value of deep web content is immeasurable … internet searches are searching only 0.03% … of the [total web] pages available.”

[…] Defunct online companies; technical errors and failures; disputes between internet service providers; abandoned addresses once used by the US military in the earliest days of the internet – all these have left the online landscape scattered with derelict or forgotten properties, perfect for illicit exploitation, sometimes for only a few seconds before they are returned to disuse. How easy is it to take over a dark address? “I don’t think my mother could do it,” says Labovitz. “But it just takes a PC and a connection. The internet has been largely built on trust.”

I’ve always been interested in knowing what people would do if anonymity was guaranteed.  If they knew they could never be caught, what would they do?  If all social pressure was gone because no one could be identified, what norms would prevail?  This “deep web” might be the answer.

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”

Perhaps, but if all the Shadow can find is an anonymous Tor node, he still can’t do much about it.