The Dark Web is supposed to be the Internet’s seedy back alley, where everything from drugs to assassins to child pornography can be obtained for a price. But the real Dark Web is a lot more complicated, and it’s growing—because we need it more than ever. BY MAX EDDY
If our popular culture is to be believed, most people assume there’s a place online where the worst of the headlines you read about drugs, money laundering, murder for hire, and vast child pornography rings are born. It’s called many things, though “Dark Web” is the most dramatic.
Although it’s true that this Dark Web exists, it’s much larger and more diverse than merely these illegal activities. What’s more, the same technology that makes it possible for such marketplaces to operate in secret is also protecting political dissidents overseas and hiding everyday Internet traffic from surveillance. It may be that this digital back alley is the path toward a more secure Internet.