What is the Dark Web?

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

A lot of weird things can happen when you use an anonymous web browser to access a part of the internet that’s hidden from prying eyes. This corner of the Internet is known as the Dark Web and it’s home to everything from illicit drugs and guns to a black market for stolen credit card information and hacked Netflix accounts. The prototypical example of a DNM is Silk Road, which the FBI shut down in 2013. But there are still plenty of other places to go if you want to buy goods that law enforcement doesn’t want you to have.

While it might seem like the sort of thing that should be out of reach, many ordinary people can actually access the DNM, as long as they know where to look. This is because a lot of the sites that can be found on the Dark Web are hidden and only accessible using special software, such as Tor. That software hides a person’s true IP address, which could reveal what websites they visit. But Tor also masks a user’s location, so it’s hard to track someone who uses the service.

Despite this, the DNM is a bustling marketplace and a large number of people make money selling things on it. The r/DarkNetMarkets subreddit is one place where drug dealers and cyber criminals hang out to talk about what’s happening on the illegal markets that the feds keep shutting down. And, as this article from Vice explains, those conversations have revealed some of the most bizarre and creepy things that can happen on the DNM.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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