Why the Dark Web is a Good Thing
In this commentary, I will talk about the Dark Web. I will first start by asking, “What is the Dark Web?” and then we will examine some of its uses that are for good reasons. The Dark Web is most often used for good purposes, and it is rarely used with bad intentions. If you go onto the Dark Web, the worst things you can find are people selling Marijuana and other drugs that aren’t that bad, as well as some videos of illegal activity.
I find it essential to mention what I mean by “aren’t that bad.” I am not condoning the use of drugs that are not that bad. Marijuana, for example, is now becoming legal in many states. I have no problem with legalization. However, I would say that just because it is legal does not mean it is healthy. You should avoid taking any drug that isn’t prescribed or is an over-the-counter medication.
What is the “Dark Web?”
The Dark Web, or by its non-slang name, tor, is a proxy that enables the computer, which is proxying you not to know both your IP address and where you are visiting at the same time. Tor stands for “The Onion Route.” It is named after an onion because it works using layered encryption. The signal goes through three machines before it is sent out into the internet to reach its destination.
The way the Dark Web works is quite similar. Instead of going back into the internet, the signal can go back into Tor for the message to reach a server, called a Tor Hidden Service, where the signal is encrypted end-to-end. The IP address of tor hidden services is not known, nor is the client accessing the Hidden Service. This enables an entirely anonymous site, where there is no way of tracking who is on the site, which can be useful for many things.
History of the Tor
The Tor Project created the Tor network. The Tor Project, believe it or not, was funded by the United States government. They wanted a secure way for whistleblowers and spies to access the internet in such a way that their information could not be tracked.
This was before the US Government began Mass Surveillance. What they have learned is that Tor is Mass-Surveillance proof, as they had designed it to be. There was almost no practical way for the US government to track down the browsing history of Tor users. The US government wanted to shut down Tor. However, Tor was something that once it is started, it could never be stopped. The US government got what they wanted, even though they didn’t want it.
What Tor is Used For
Most of the uses of Tor are legitimate. Illegal activity on Tor is almost nonexistent. Here are many of the legitimate things that Tor is used for.
People Living in Dictatorships
Some Dictatorships, such as China, have giant firewalls that prevent people from accessing many sites which are located out of the country, so they can ensure that they don’t get “bad propaganda.” Tor allows people who are living in these dictatorships to circumvent the firewall’s restrictions to access or get help from the outside world.
Many people who are tied in with evil corporations or governments that are doing things that are morally wrong or even illegal may want to anonymously post what is going on, without the threat of being fired or harmed. Tor provides people with the privacy they need so they can whistleblow. WikiLeaks is centered around the Dark Web so that people can whistleblow without having to worry about their identities being found.
Battered Women and Human Trafficking Victims
Often, if their captors are tech-savvy, human trafficking victims and battered women may not be able to access the internet without all of their signals being watched, and their browsing history known by their captors. Tor allows those people to be able to use the internet without being monitored. Often, Battered Women’s shelters have websites on the Dark Web, which will enable women to come to them anonymously so that they can be rescued.
This is why the government initially funded Tor. The government wanted the ability to host sites so that their spies can come to them anonymously without fear of being tracked by the countries they are in. The Dark Web is how British and United States spies often communicate.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Refugees and Asylum Seekers are often not welcome by the countries that they seek refuge in. Tor allows them to be able to anonymously go to assistance programs and communicate with them without fear of their government intercepting their transmissions.
Though there may be occasional criminal activities, The Dark Web is mostly a good thing. The Dark Web is also an excellent privacy tool, and it is better than what any VPN or proxy can offer. If you are interested in The Dark Web, you can go to https://torproject.org and download Tor for your Operating System. Just make sure not to go poking around where you shouldn’t be. I’ll see you soon in another article.