The Darknet is a part of the Internet that cannot be reached by Google search. It’s a place where anonymity prevails – users use the Tor browser to disguise their identity. This enables journalists, politically persecuted people, oppositionists in totalitarian states and people in countries that censor the Internet to communicate via the Darknet without having to fear consequences. In addition, the anonymity of the Darknet protects users from disclosure and misuse of their data.
- In the Darknet, users can communicate completely anonymously – this helps, for example, residents of repressive states that censor the Internet.
- Many criminals also cavort on the Darknet and use it for arms and drug trafficking.
- Unsuspecting users should rather not visit the Darknet due to its dangers.
Criminals also use the Darknet for their own purposes: They sell weapons and illegal drugs there, for example. That makes this hidden part of the internet a very dangerous place. We inform interested parties below about the Darknet, its possibilities and its dangers.
How does the darknet work?
What most people know as the Internet is just the surface of a network, in the deeper layers of which almost anything is possible. Beneath the surface, the Clear Web, users first come across the Deep Web. What they find there is usually neither dangerous nor illegal. Rather, the second layer of the Internet provides access to a multitude of the information that the Clear Web holds ready.
How do you get into the deep web? The difference between the content of the deep web and that of the clear web is that the former are not indexed by Google or comparable search engines. These are predominantly intranets as well as databases of libraries and research institutions – many are only accessible with the appropriate login data. The deep web is therefore particularly interesting for researchers and those curious about knowledge. With the help of special search engines, users can also search the deep web.
But how does the Darknet work now? Together with the deep web, it is part of the hidden web, i.e. the hidden part of the internet. While users only need the right links or a corresponding search engine to access the Deep Web, a visit to the Darknet requires the installation of a special browser such as Tor, which anonymizes the user. The Darknet is a manually set up, encrypted peer-to-peer network (also friend-to-friend network). There is not just one of these – so one should actually speak of several Darknets.
The content is made available from various nodes – if the respective provider is not online, its content is also not available. The domains in the Darknet look different than the generally known ones: The domain names are often cryptic and have unusual endings such as .onion. In addition, they often change in favor of anonymity. Content cannot always be reached at the same address, as is the case on the Clear Web. Users are either specially invited to a darknet website or have to research the links again and again.
Who has access to the Darknet?
“And how do I get into the Darknet?”, Many ask. Even if the Darknet has a very useful function for the persecuted or residents of censored states, one thing is clear: Unsolicited users shouldn’t hang around there. Ultimately, the anonymity of its users also harbors dangers. Criminal offenders are difficult to identify on the Darknet and that is precisely why they prefer to mess around there.
Reaching the deepest layer of the internet is also complicated. It requires the installation of the Tor browser and special anonymization measures. Much of the content cannot be accessed without contacting the operators or other users. New Darknet users are often initially checked for their trustworthiness and can only visit most sites with an invitation from an experienced user.
What is happening in the darknet? Even if they know that it is dangerous on the Darknet, many interested people are wondering what kind of content there is. But whoever downloads the Tor browser does not automatically get to the Darknet. He can surf Clear web pages just like a conventional browser. Some of the content of the dark network is not that different from the usual Internet content. For example, there is a darknet version of Facebook. Why? Because some countries censor the internet and thus also social media. For their residents, the Darknet is often the only way to use social media and express their opinions freely – of course, this is not without its dangers.
The Darknet has blogs, forums, news sites, anonymous e-mail programs and much more that is not necessarily illegal. But the darknet is also the ideal place for the black market, drug and arms trafficking, child pornography, money laundering, credit card fraud and illegal file sharing. Some even offer contract killings there. Anyone who buys in one of the Darknet Markets pays with Bitcoins, the origin of which is concealed by a special anonymization program. In this way, illegal transactions can also be concluded without any problems without being traceable.
What dangers lurk in the darknet?
Anyone who goes to the Darknet is exposed to various dangers. While this part of the Internet is actually legal to use, inexperienced users can inadvertently get into trouble. According to a 2016 study by the British security company Intelliagg, 48 percent of the websites on the Darknet are illegal. The probability of landing on such a page is therefore quite high. For example, if a user accidentally clicks on a link that contains child pornography without being able to assess it beforehand, he risks receiving mail from the public prosecutor as soon as the provider is discovered.
In the Darknet, unsuspecting visitors can not only quickly become suspects, but also victims: For example, fraud often takes place in the markets. In addition, countless viruses and Trojans cavort on the Darknet . They not only infect the PC, but often also pass on personal data of the user. Those who disclose their personal data on the Darknet also endanger their anonymity. Then things can get serious: Many authorities try to identify the numerous criminals on the Darknet. Anyone who is on the secret websites quickly becomes a suspect. If you don’t want to get yourself into trouble, you should keep your hands off the Darknet.