What is Dark Web


The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on dark nets, overlay networks which use the public Internet but which require specific software, configurations or authorization to access. 

The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by search engines, although sometimes the term “deep web” is confusingly used to refer specifically to the dark web.


The darknets which constitute the dark web include small, friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks, as well as large, popular networks like Free net, I2P, and Tor, operated by public organizations and individuals.

Users of the dark web refer to the regular web as the Clearnet due to its unencrypted nature. The Tor dark web may be referred to as onionland, a reference to the network’s top level domain suffix .onion and the traffic anonymization technique of onion routing.

A December 2014 study by Gareth Owen from the University of Portsmouth found that the most commonly requested type of content on Tor was child pornography, followed by black markets, while the individual sites with the highest traffic were dedicated to botnet operations.

Many whistleblowing sites maintain a presence as well as political discussion forums. Sites associated with Bitcoin,fraud related services and mail order services are some of the most prolific. To counter the trend of controversial content, the artist collective Cybertwee held a bake sale on an onion site.

A more recent February 2016 study from researchers at King’s College London give the following break down of content by an alternative category set, highlighting the illicit use of onion services



Bitcoin services

Darknet markets

Hacking groups and services

Fraud services

Hoaxes and unverified content

Phisings and scams





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