[The Guardian, 2013]
The Surface Web is content accessible by a search engine, while the opposite is true concerning the Deep Web. The Dark Web then is classified as a small portion of the Deep Web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard web browsers.
Tor uses numerous layers of security and encryption to render users anonymous online. Tor client software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers hiding user’s information eluding any activities of monitoring. The data are encrypted multiple times passing through nodes, Tor relays, of the network, ensuring user privacy.
From an anonymous Dark Web viewer reporting for Vulture Magazine
Normally, file sharing and internet browsing activity can be tracked by law enforcement through each user's unique IP address that can be traced back to an individual computer. The Tor network on the Dark Web hides the IP address and the activity of the user.
The is a term that refers specifically to a group of websites that are publicly visible, but hide the IP addresses of the servers that run them. They can be accessed by any web user, but it is very difficult to distinguish the authors of the sites. These sites cannot be found using conventional search engines.
This results from Tor; most sites on the Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. Known for its end-user-hiding properties, it can be used to hide your identity and obscure your location. A website running through Tor has much of the same effect; it multiplies the effect. Access to websites on the Dark Web requires the use of Tor encryption. Just as the end user's IP is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.
However, Tor is not used by all Dark Web sites; some use similar services, e.g., I2P, which is used by the new Silk Road Reloaded. The principle remains the same; user access requires the same encryption tool as the site and the user must know where to find the site in order to type in the URL.
Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its copycats. The Silk Road was a venue for the buying and selling of recreational drugs. However, there are legitimate uses for the Dark Web. People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about US- and UK government monitoring web use, a user may use the Dark Web as an alternative communication tool.
Although all the terms Dark Web, Deep Web, Deepnet, etc. tend to be used interchangeably, they don't refer to exactly the same thing. The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find. Thus the 'Deep Web' includes the 'Dark Web', but also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, and pages behind paywalls. There are large numbers of such pages, and most exist for mundane reasons.
'Dark Internet' is also a term sometimes used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. In this case either for technical reasons, or because the properties contain niche information that few people will want, or in some cases because the data is private.
The phrases 'Dark Web' or 'Deep Web' are typically used by print and web media to refer to secretive online worlds. To a greater extent, the 'Dark Internet' is basically uneventful, where scientists store raw data for research. The Deep Web is a more flamboyant term for all web pages that are not indexed for search.
To enter the Dark Web, you need only to install and use Tor (www.torproject.org) and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser. The Vidalia Control Panel will automatically handle the randomized network setup and, when Tor is ready, the browser will open; it must be closed to disconnect from the network. Users recommend blocking your laptop's webcam to prevent spying while using the browser.
Once you get into the Dark Web, sites selling drugs, illegal narcotics, prostitution, guns, and pornographic material are but a click away. According several researches, the principal search engines index only a small portion of the overall web content, the remaining part is unknown to the majority of web users.
A simple but accurate definition of the Deep Web may be derived from a statement by the founder of BrightPlanet, Mike Bergman; he compared searching on the Internet today to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean: a great deal may be caught in the net, but there is a wealth of information that is deep and therefore missed.
Ordinary search engines to find content on the web using software called “crawlers”. This technique is ineffective for finding the hidden resources of the Web that could be classified into the following categories:
Dynamic content: dynamic pages which are returned in response to a submitted query or accessed only through a form, especially if open-domain input elements (such as text fields) are used; such fields are hard to navigate without domain knowledge. Unlinked content: pages which are not linked to by other pages, which may prevent Web crawling programs from accessing the content. This content is referred to as pages without backlinks (or inlinks).
Private Web: sites that require registration and login(password-protected resources).
Contextual Web: pages with content varying for different access contexts (e.g., ranges of client IP addresses or previous navigation sequence).
Limited access content: sites that limit access to their pages in a technical way (e.g., using the Robots Exclusion Standard, CAPTCHAs, or no-cache Pragma HTTP headers which prohibit search engines from browsing them and creating cached copies).
Non-HTML/text content: textual content encoded in multimedia (image or video) files or specific file formats not handled by search engines. Text content using the Gopher protocol and files hosted on FTP that are not indexed by most search engines. Engines such as Google do not index pages outside of HTTP or HTTPS.
A parallel web that has a much wider number of information represents an invaluable resource for private companies, governments, and especially cyber crime. In the imagination of many users, the DeepWeb term is associated with the concept of anonymity that goes with criminal intents the cannot be pursued because submerged in an inaccessible world.
The FBI has requested that Marques, 28, be extradited to the United States to stand trial. But the operation did not stop hackers.
The administrator of the 4Pedo forum, which operates on the Dark Web, posted a warning to users before he took the forum offline: 'ALL BOARDS HAVE BEEN DELETED TO PROTECT YOU! IF THE BOARDS COME BACK UP, IT IS NOT ME RUNNING THE SITE ANYMORE!'
Numerous other pedophile sites on the Dark Web that use Tor encryption have gone offline, as well.
Along with the lingering child-porn sites, users can freely purchase any number of illegal items on the site - drugs, stolen identities, assassins, illegal weapons and explosives.
Users should also expect that they could be the next target of the U.S. government attack.