View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. What Is
March 15, 2017

What is the Dark Web?

Behind layers of encryption, the Dark Web is used for a range of activities.

By Alexander Sword

The Dark Web is an encrypted section of the internet which can only be accessed using specific software.

There are other encrypted networks in operation, but the most famous is Tor, which stands for The Onion Router. The technology was developed by US military researchers to allow information to be exchanged anonymously by intelligence services.

Tor users by connect through a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection to the intended site. This means share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

The Tor browser can be used to anonymously access normal websites, but sites that are hosted within the Tor network constitute the Dark Web.

It is known for being used for criminal activity, including the sale of weapons and drugs. For example, the dark net website Silk Road was an anonymous black market best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs.

What’s good about the Dark Web?

It is also used by hackers to disseminate information obtained from hacks, or to sell malware. For example, a recent hack of Twitter users has seen information such as passwords and user names appear on the Dark Web.

However, according to the Centre for International Governance Innovation, it is also used by journalists, human rights activists, dissidents and whistleblowers who “use these services to rally against repression, exercise their fundamental rights to free expression and shed light upon corruption.”

Content from our partners
Green for go: Transforming trade in the UK
Manufacturers are switching to personalised customer experience amid fierce competition
How many ends in end-to-end service orchestration?

The Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web, which refers to pages that are not indexed by standard search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. These can include web mail, online banking or services that sit behind a pay wall.

Both are distinct from the Surface Web, which is the content which is indexed by search engines and includes all of the sites directly accessed by non-specialists, such as Wikipedia and Reddit.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU