This is an 18 minute “TED Talk” about the Dark Web or Dark Net, and why it matters. It debunks some of the media hype about it, and explains just why the Dark Net is important to our future, our privacy, and our security.
It is important to realize that the Dark Net is much much larger than the public network / public web sites. Your banking, your company internal network, your health records and tax documents: All of these are on the part of the web that is “dark” – not seen by nor showing up in search engines. Not reachable without permission.
Without a Dark Web, eCommerce ceases.
Recently (as in the last few years) ever more of The Web is going dark. “https” now makes most web pages encrypted. Ever more email, text messages, and chats are encrypted. VPN is common, no longer in the arcane arts of hackers. TOR is known to journalists, TLA agents, and businessmen in foreign lands alike. It isn’t just about Silk Road and drug dealers.
It is the Dark Net that will take over as Police, TLAs, Corporations (snooping for profit), and Governments in general become ever more intrusive and destructive of privacy rights. We will eventually be running on encrypted devices with encrypted VPN tunnels to encrypted servers for pretty much everything. As of now, just running a VPN to ‘https’ web sites hides your activities from most external observers. (Add in a caching DNS server of your own – not the TELCO one – and have it use “upstream DNS” via an encrypted type connection to hide even more from those who ought not see it and do not respect you. Run a SQUID proxy server to obscure the actual originating machine.)
One can become pretty “Gray” just with those bits. Item by item closing down visibility of your data / communications content via encryption and your contact trace data by a combination of proxy servers, encrypting DNS servers, different “upstream” DNS from your Telco, https encrypting web traffic (hides the ‘follow on’ connection to content in the web page that’s served from other servers), and wrap it all in a VPN. (Even a poor VPN provider is better than none at all).
Sound like a lot of trouble? Not as much as you might think. I’ve posted “How To” or “watch me” postings on things like DNS, Squid Proxy, and more. Most of them take just an hour or two to set up. Just pick one and start with it. Add one a month and in a half dozen months you will be much more secure and greatly more private.
Then you can move on to things like PGP encrypted email (where you need to get your email partners to cooperate) and similar things.