The Hitchhikers Guide To The Invisible Internet
If you are into cryptocurrency and are tech savvy, you probably have heard of the Deep Web by now. Most people don’t know that through traditional search engines like Google or Yahoo they only see so much of the worldwide web. Basically, these common applications are similar to traveling with tunnel vision and being able […]
If you are into cryptocurrency and are tech savvy, you probably have heard of the Deep Web by now. Most people don’t know that through traditional search engines like Google or Yahoo they only see so much of the worldwide web. Basically, these common applications are similar to traveling with tunnel vision and being able to view only what the browser allows. The Deep Web or the ‘Invisible Web‘ as it’s called is not indexed by these particular browsers and needs to be seen through alternative methods.
Also read: Open Letters to Ross Ulbricht: Reflections
“Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property” — Lysander Spooner, Vices Are Not Crimes, 1875
Illegal items are not the only thing to see within these websites. As droves of bloggers, artists, gamers, developers, and basically anyone can occupy the space. If one was to choose to visit the Dark Net Markets (DNMs) they can with ease. With a little technical background with computers, that’s especially focused energy on privacy, and encryption a user can travel through the shadow economy. There is much to explore on the Deep Web, and there are thousands of others you may meet on the way. The building of this section of the Internet is growing at exponential rates and those that help its growth are showing a new way of doing things.
Items You’ll Need For The Trip
This day in age with the ever looming surveillance state it’s a good idea to stay private. Surfing the Deep Web is not illegal however its roads can lead to various Dark Net Markets throughout your travels. There are many steps you can take to ensure your identity remains safe and you must decide the degree of security you are comfortable with. You can visit these spaces with many scaled variations of pseudo-anonymous tactics to keep yourself protected. Using methods that anonymize your identity, IP address, and proxies are probably the best way to protect yourself from snooping agents meddling in your private affairs.
If you are thinking about using the Deep Web for any kind of e-commerce transaction then you probably should purchase some Bitcoins. Cryptocurrencies are used by close to 90% of the users on the hidden net for pseudo-anonymous privacy and settlement speed. Now nothing is 100% anonymous in the world of online computing, but there are some applications that make it pretty damn close. One application that will guide you through this operation almost worry free is the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN). This service enables users to surf the public web within a private network. The system creates a point to point connection within a set of dedicated nodes that tunnel protocol and also use traffic encryption methods. VPNs are a great way to ensure privacy not just on the Deep Web but also across public venues such as messaging services and others.
The use of VPNs is not a necessary tool for you to use while surfing this region of the Internet. What you do need is a browser that can index .Onion websites and other addresses that reside on the hidden network. The Tor browser is the most recommended engine that can examine this space. I2Peer, Freenet, and other protocols act as full browsers that work in a similar fashion. Using an application like this is a must when trying to access these websites as popular services will not provide this experience. When using a VPN crossed with Tor the level of anonymity is higher and one can feel safer surfing the hidden net or even make a purchase on the DNM’s using Bitcoin. Searching for an IP address or a vulnerability is far more difficult because using a VPN secures your connection. It puts a level of protection on all data sent and received while surfing and keeps these messages encrypted and out of sight. A private network is a boost in security for places online you don’t usually travel so why not protect yourself?
Other measures to take while voyaging deeper is the use of a secure firewall and disabling cookies. One option to use while preparing to venture the broader Internet is the use of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encrypted email protocol. If there’s a chance you are to purchase an item from this environment some level of encrypted messaging is a plus. PGP offers encryption and decryption methods with authentication through the use of public and private keys. Implemented in 1991 by Phil Zimmermann, the practice was created to increase email security for any individual and organization. Using PGP to converse with those on the Deep Web is a safer idea that adds a layer of privacy to your communications.
Entering The Deep
One can surf the invisible internet to find different and unique ways to spend their Bitcoin. Items that you typically can’t find in public areas are often available within this space. With your virtual money, you can purchase high-end clothing at a discount rate, unusual weapons, potions, cheaper prescription drugs, and gemstones. People are available for hire to set up web-hosting, developing applications and can even create altcoins to your specifications. Bitcoin and altcoins are the most used medium of exchange on the hidden net and the preferred choice of payment for the majority of it’s users.
There is countless hours of subject material and different people to meet while visiting. Searching the internet via Google or Bing is nothing compared to what you may see here. Some have said it is almost a glimpse of what the internet should be as it provides free markets, open and uncensored discussion, and a sense of decentralized organization. Journalists and whistleblowers have been known to trade information here and fund their organizations with cryptocurrencies. Musicians like ‘Death Grips’ released their album on the Deep Web and sold their record for Bitcoin.
The first site everyone seems to mention is the Hidden Wiki, which has a directory of many .onion sites on its interface. Quite a bit of the sites on this list are defunct, and the majority of pages are nonexistent. The Hidden Wiki is also useful as it has other information that the traditional Wiki does not carry. Other areas online such as forums, tutorials and news publications have a vast array of Deep Web sites for you to research. Pages that exist are public knowledge but have you have to put a touch more energy into finding them.
One area of interest a person may find is the dominant amount of coin shuffling sites located on the hidden network. There are a bunch of Bitcoin services that will shuffle your coins; shuffling or mixing Bitcoins help provide a stronger form of anonymity when making private purchase in this space. The digital currency transactions are obscured with other addresses, and this makes it harder to trace back the money.
There is not much censorship within the addresses held in the Deep Web, and the idea is a different look of humanity. With this comes a wide array of user choices such as secret diary forums, escort services, clearnet search engines, messaging applications, blogs, sexual fantasy groups and more. You may find some areas of the web you may not agree with but as with any visitation on the Internet the option to leave is always available. Some areas of interest you may find unique are free hosting services, football game betting, the Deep Web Radio, BlackBook the ‘Facebook of Tor,’ hacktivism networks, Wikileaks, lossless audio files, unlocked mobile phones and so much more. At one time, a jet was also purchased on one of the hidden markets. The Gulfstream was priced over USD $120,000 in Bitcoin for the luxury private jet. Activists have released films showing their country’s revolutions way before they are released to YouTube. There is nothing like venturing this online realm and the sights you may see and the tools you will utilize may add a new form of depth to your consciousness.
Dark Net Markets
While surfing the Deep Web, you might want to peruse through the marketplaces that pretty much offer anything. Dark Net Markets enable visitors to view and purchase a variety of uncensored items online and provide a plethora of free market choices to consenting adults.
The philosophy of Lysander Spooner said, “Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.” This comes from the letter written by Spooner called “Vices Are Not Crimes” a vindication of thought that those who chose to commit these acts harm no one. Within the Deep Web, this ideological thinking added to a drug market called the Silk Road a place that offered a new expansion to online exchange. Founded in 2011 by the Dread Pirate Roberts the Silk Road was the largest marketplace on the Internet that sold illegal narcotics. In October of 2013 United States, federal officials seized the Silk Road operation and ended its leaders tenure.
After the demise of the marketplace, many more dark net commerce sites appeared such as the Silk Road 2, Evolution, Silk Road Reloaded, White Rabbit, Agora and countless more. When the original Silk Road was seized in less than a month, a new darknet market took the reigns. Many markets are available for your viewing and if you choose to make a purchase there just be safe and make sure it is a reputable service. DNMs are very much based on reputation and hearsay if they are to identify themselves leaders in this particular market space.
New market-browsers exist to help consolidate these online merchants into one place. A page called Grams is the Google of the DNMs and can find basically any narcotic from cannabis to LSD searching within multiple marketplaces. After the fall of the Silk Road and many others sites, the market Alpha Bay has taken the lead in this space. The Bay reportedly has over 200,000 users and an excellent reputation. Other markets such as Dream, Outlaw, and Valhalla are right behind the Bay’s top position in this ecosystem. Some of the markets you have to pay an upfront fee of Bitcoin to join the club or get special invite and referral from a friend. Different code words are used like carding, Bitcoinfog, and acronyms like LE (Law Enforcement), and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) are regularly used.
When venturing into this space it is highly recommended you take the necessary precautionary steps to conceal your identity. Government officials are definitely sweeping these areas on the Deep Web regularly and may be investigating any known market. They are all public knowledge and can be swiftly found on both the visible and invisible Internet.
Using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies add a layer of pseudo-anonymous links to your real world identity. Digital currencies are accepted throughout the Darknet for this reason, and most marketplaces use different techniques to further the process of anonymization. DNM’s themselves often use methods like multi-signature wallets, disposable addresses and basic mixing services at times. Cryptocurrencies like Dash and Monero are also accepted at certain markets that carry their own shuffling concepts through their protocols.
What You See Is What You Get
Surfing the web through mainstream gateways only catches a small glimpse of what is out there online. Google’s engines cover only 16 percent of the surface web alone, and you will never see the Deep Web from portals like it. Services with a decentralized nature and privacy at the forefront is a popular adaptation to the global internet. Humans will always produce elements of counter economic action and fundamental revolt when it comes to prohibition.
These areas of exploration at times have never been done before online and are entirely experimental. Places that offer new reputation services and decentralized escrow markets are being tried here for the first time online. Some of the visitors there could possibly be malicious but are no different than the hackers that can do so on public venues. Unfortunately, that is human nature and bad people will always exist which is not the fault of the internet. The trick is to prepare yourself with the tools of security and privacy that in turn will also protect you more if you use them on the surface network as well. Visiting the invisible Internet is just another option to the array of online choices today yet even bigger. Setting your feet into these waters to test if it is swim worthy is the first step to a whole new world. Learn to swim. 🙂
Have you ever surfed the Deep Web? Tell us about your experience and tips in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Redmemes, Pixbay, and Wiki Commons