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12
Nov

What is the dark web? Here’s what you need to know

Posted by on in Deep Web
  • Hits: 3035

The ‘dark web’ is actually pretty easy to access, with many sites visible via a special browser similar to Firefox – and free PC software which takes a few minutes to install.

But what is it?

The ‘dark web’ refers to sites which are only accessible via special software (such as Tor), and which don’t show up in Google searches.

It’s different from the ‘deep web’ – which is made up of all the pages which are not indexed by search engines. The ‘deep web’ is estimated to be at least 15 times larger than the web we know, containing more than 900 billion pages.

Much of the ‘deep web’ is innocent – paid-for content, or websites that require log-ins, which Google can’t ‘read’.

The ‘dark web’, by contrast, contains sites accessible only via special software such as Tor or the anti-censorship network Freenet – much of it focused on privacy, and home to some pretty grotesque sites.

The most famous of these is the ‘anonymous’ web browser Tor, used by around 2.5 million people per day, according to Tor’s own estimates.

Up to 57% of the hidden sites accessible via the browser Tor (which have a .onion prefix instead of .com) are used for crime, such as drugs, stolen cards and child porn, according to King’s College London researchers.

Child porn is the most frequently requested content on Tor, according to a 2014 University of Portsmouth study.

Tor data ‘bounces’ between dozens of computers on its way to and from the web – making users effectively invisible.

Financed by the U.S. government, the controversial service is used by the FBI, and lauded by internet freedom advocates.

Using Tor, you can access special .onion sites – only accessible using the browser – many of which openly host highly illegal content including piracy, drugs, child pornography and sites where credit card details are bought and sold.

Source : metro

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