[SPECIAL SERIES] [The Deep Web] an Introduction to the Deepest, Darkest Parts of the Internet.


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In a Fight Club nutshell, the rule of the deep web is that you shouldn’t talk about the deep web. If you look up “The Deep Web” or “Hidden Internet” on Google or Wikipedia then there is no secret that it is known in an almost-mainstream fashion, but one thing many websites refuse to do (including WordswithMeaning!) is give clear instructions on what to do there and the specifics of what you will find.

First of all though; if you REALLY think you can tolerate what lurks beyond the internet that many people are used to then use an internet condom, and by that, I mean use an anonymous method and a proxy. Don’t just go and use some random internet café computer; it’s much more complicated than that. You’d need to become familiar with how the Tor browser works and how the Vidalia Project and related controllers.

Again; I must stress that this is not for the faint-hearted. You WILL see gore and if you’re unlucky then you WILL unlock the chambers of the child pornography industry. I am against the abuse of children, and I am against child pornography but here is where you will find it. I’ve attempted to aid the authorities anonymously far too many times and yet the websites I report still remain.

The deep web represents a large portal of the internet that cannot be accessed through regular means. You will not uncover it from Googling, you will not be able to visit it via browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer and furthermore – a decent amount of programming knowledge and skills in using routers, proxies and networking will be required.

Taking a swim in the deep end of the internet reveals more than your average pile of shock sites and whistleblowing organisations. It’s practically the virtual black market. Inside lays the intensely complicated ways of contacting drug dealers, hit men and for the most part – terrorists and explosive device manufacturers.

Piracy is evident and so is hacking, but unlike your normal “World Wide Web” rather than foiling a plot to download or hack (and leak) the latest episodes of Breaking Bad or the unreleased Coldplay album; people here are often organising assassinations, full-scale security breaches and even schemes to exploit the governments around us. Remember, whenever you have a dozen eggs, there is often a bad one and so I am not trying to state that ALL of the “Deep Web” is bad, but think of it this way: If these people need to stay anonymous in order to protect their livelihoods then there is a reason they must do so.

During my research I went down the back-alley traders’ district of the internet. I set up a postal box – well, it was a little more complicated than that but it was in fact a country-legalised delivery box –  under a fake identity (in which I acquired using the net in the first place) and attempted to order various illegal products and substances. I didn’t expect to actually receive anything (especially not since the use of standardised postal mail was involved) but I was surprised at how ‘easy’ and ‘successful’ my mission was.

I’ll divulge into the story of how and what I purchased online further into the story.

Many frequents of the Deep Web are actively trying to keep everything down-low. If you are a cocaine user and you have a drug dealer that you are loyal to – would you tell everyone in the street about him? Risking not only your safety but his? No, of course not, you’d keep it on the sly for a whole bunch of reasons.

One of the things that I have read on WordswithMeaning.org previously is that everything WikiLeaks has distributed was available on the internet for years and as I am sure that many of the driving forces behind this website have their own little connections are well-aware of the real internet.

The databases full of illegal content are all real. There’s absolutely no way of finding out where the – in this instance we will say child porn – exists and who owns it. This is why I simply must despise of anyone who tries to implement censorship: because there will ALWAYS be some way of getting away with it. Likewise, the drug dealers online are clearly managing to sell successfully and so the idea of eradicating the drug industry is futile. In fact, by searching online for things such as MDPV (commonly nicknamed bath salts) I’ve noticed how drug dealers are in fact adapting to the technology that may well end up replacing their street lives.

A rather large community of Spanish bull fighters are expecting the day that their hobby and the thing they’ve dedicated their lives to will become illegal, and so there are even group meetings organised in very incognito areas to organise the illegal ring of bull fighting within the country. As well as this there are literally gladiators who organise ways of fighting to death. I know how exaggerated this sounds – trust me, I’m the one trying to convince readers it is true – but there’s no joke to this claim.

Security is the most needed thing should you ever choose to involve yourself. I’m not talking about viruses, I am talking about real hackers who can seriously gain access to your webcam and your exact location should you not be protected enough. Some of this is quite scary, it almost gives the impression that authorities are not to blame when it comes to the evident existence of the child pornography that is stored within as the impression seems to be that those who snitch, are killed. Maybe this is all starting to sound like a Hollywood spy movie; but I am serious.

Financially, currency does not exist in the way of credit cards or your average online transaction choices. Nearly everything involves the trade of Bitcoins (Wikipedia) and pornographic images (I’ll buy it for 5 verified photos of my ex-girlfriend’s boobies, for example). The eBay of illicit drugs, porn, hacking and even more than you could possibly imagine is a portal called “Silk Road” (Wikipedia). Every single effort the governments of the world make to shut the website down or even censor it has been ineffective. With the “Deep Web” many of the websites are technically in limbo, which means that it isn’t as simple to just “block access” to them.

I don’t support any of the activities or content that exists on the Deep Web but I can understand why it exists. It’s not what you see; it’s what you do with the information. With the exception of organised porn rings and violence, nothing is truly hurting any individual without their consent. However, saving any of the information you find to your computer or storage device would probably land you in serious trouble. You barely hear about Child Porn “directors” or “photographers” being busted, but you always hear about those caught with the possession of the content receiving the firm hand of the law.

There’s nothing truly anonymous about your time on the web, so don’t simply go around lurking for the pure sake of curiosity. What you know can sometimes harm you and although I may have glamorised the “Deep Web” for some of you, I can assure you that this is the place where mental trauma can be sourced.

Whether its video-guides on suicide, photographs of necrophilia taking place or suggestions that what we know to be real, isn’t – the deep web is truly a darkened, complex and dangerous playground.

About Author

Online Investigator [Name Withheld]

Online Investigator [Name Withheld]

This author chooses to remain anonymous for many reasons. He is an ex-employee of the United Kingdom's CCCS (The Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security) and has spent over 20 years battling the distribution and liabilities of many difficult subjects including online drug trafficking and child pornography distribution. The author's accreditation, qualifications and previous work experience has been verified personally by the website's administrators. We obviously cannot convince you to believe his words - but there's no doubt that they are fascinating.

  • http://twitter.com/EileenOrmsby All Things Vice


    I’ve done a lot of investigating into the darkweb myself (see). I’d really like the URL to the gladiator games :)

    • http://www.caskthomson.com Cask J. Thomson

      I can certainly find out what website writer was referring to – please use the contact form and we’ll be in touch :)

    • http://www.wordswithmeaning.org/ WordMean Team Member

      I can certainly find out what website writer was referring to – please use the contact form (http://withmean.in/TrT4cr)and we’ll be in touch :)

  • http://twitter.com/EileenOrmsby All Things Vice

    I’m not surprised I never got a response. There are some very bad inaccuracies and hyperbole in this article.

    • Chillin

      you did get a response didn’t you? The moderator replied down there?

      • http://twitter.com/EileenOrmsby All Things Vice

        I mean from the author. I responded to the moderator and have been emailing him, but neither he nor I received a response from the author

        • Chillin

          Oh right. I’m willing to bet that the author is staying anonymous cos his career depends on it

          • http://twitter.com/EileenOrmsby All Things Vice

            I only asked for a URL, not his name. Anyway, he’s now made another post about a site that is definitely a hoax, so I would take anything he says with a grain of salt. There IS a darkweb, you can certainly buy drugs on it and there are definitely child porn rings on it, but most of the other sensational claims turn out to be hoaxes.

            • Chillin

              The site admin always says that “nothing is ever truly verifiable. It’s all down to the reader” so we all have to make our own minds up

              • http://twitter.com/EileenOrmsby All Things Vice

                I just want the URL to the gladiator fights. I’d love to do a story on them :)

                • Chillin

                  I’m willing to bet that that’s why the guy didn’t get back to you then. He probably doesn’t want to promote the content. Why not just look for it yourself?