Friday, 4 October 2013

Light shines on the dark web

I will soon be posting a "Bitcoins" primer - this is a fantastic experiment in free banking.  A currency not backed by government.

Not surprisingly the clamp down has started with the shut down of "The Silk Road".

What is the dark web exactly?

DARK WEB [Outside link]

A dark Internet or dark address refers to any or all unreachable network hosts on the Internet. It is also called dark address space.
The dark Internet should not be confused with either deep web or darknet. Whereas deep web and darknet stand for hard-to-find websites and secretive networks that sometimes span across the Internet, the dark Internet is any portion of the Internet that can no longer be accessed through conventional means.

A recent post on "The Verge" discusses how the dark web lives on.

The FBI busted Silk Road, but not the 'dark web' behind it [Outside Link]

Silk Road, the underground website where dealers sold illegal drugs, was supposed to be safe. The site was nestled deep in the dark web, accessible only through the anonymizing network Tor. All transactions were done in the anonymizing virtual currency Bitcoin. Its owner-operator, Dread Pirate Roberts, was said to be a criminal mastermind and technical wunderkind who never left a trail. It was all very hackerish and clandestine.

Here is a link to the TOR project.

TOR PROJECT [Outside link]

Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others.
 What is interest is what the first article points out:

And yet, today the FBI shut down the site and arrested Dread Pirate Roberts. "This is supposed to be some invisible black market bazaar. We made it visible," an FBI spokesperson told Forbes after the bust. "No one is beyond the reach of the FBI. We will find you."

There is no place to hide.  However, according to TOR it is not broken but merely that the Silk Road owner made mistakes.  From the same article.

 "Tor is not broken," Karen Reilly, development director at the Tor Project, said in an email. "According to the criminal complaint, the accused was found through mistakes in operational security. Tor can not protect you if you use your legal name on a public forum, use a VPN with logs that are subject to a subpoena, or use any other services that collect personal information that is freely given or collected in the background."

What is clear is that TOR is used by a lot of people and not just criminals.  These people include journalists, activists and not doubt law enforcement officers.

More light will be shed on the dark web.

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