Did you ever come across the term “Deep Web,” only to not know what it means and why is it important?
That’s OK. The majority of internet users around the globe don’t have a clue about this un-indexed area of the web. The name oozes mystery and skepticism, which is perhaps why not many choose to explore further.
So what is the Deep Web exactly?
Put simply, it is the part of the web that can’t be accessed by a search engine like Google. The only way to access this area of the internet is by doing a search within a certain database. It is different from the Surface Web, which can be discovered through link-crawling. In other words, the Deep Web consists of documents or pages that are not easy to find, and many of which require a password to be accessed.
Trend Micro reports that the Deep Web has more than one underground economy and each of them operate in a different way. But they dismiss that there is an underground, stating that the worldwide cybercrime underground is a patchwork of different cultures and countries, each different and unique in its own style. For instance, the Chinese underground, hidden in the Deep Web, is a prototype hub, selling hardware and software found in its counterparts. It also boasts unique offerings such as leaked-data privacy protection search engine services.
The Deep Web is also a bit different from the Dark Web. The latter refers to any page on the internet that resides in one of the public layers of the standard internet. The internet was created around pages that reference other pages. For instance, if there is a destination page without any inbound links, that page is concealed, and it can’t be discovered by search engine users. For instance, if a blog post remains unpublished, users may be able to discover it if they know the exact URL. Otherwise, it is hidden in plain sight.
The Deep Web content can’t be crawled or accessed by conventional means. The best way to access it is through the TOR network (acronym for “The Onion Router”). TOR removes encryption layers from web communications, and therefore conceals the network activities and identities of its users. TOR enables users to connect to the Deep Web anonymously, so it is often called the “Deep Web Search Engine”.
Why You Should Care About the Deep Web?
The general public became aware of the Deep Web in 2013 when the FBI closed the underground marketplace called “The Silk Road.” The creator was arrested after he attempted to recruit a hit man through the Deep Web who was an undercover FBI agent. Other menaces such as drugs, passports, weapons, illegal pornography content, etc. are also sold on the Deep Web.
However, the Deep Web is not entirely evil; it does have some practical uses. For example, internet users who live in an authoritarian community can communicate with legal bodies without sweating over their dictator’s force kicking down their door at any moment.
Apart from people who want to stay anonymous for freedom of communication, the Deep Web can also be useful for researchers, scientists, academicians, and other parties who rely on new discoveries to keep their competitive edge. For example, it can help in discovering high-quality research works in specialized corners of the internet. The network aids in finding technical and scientific documents whether they’re hosted in subscription websites or free public websites. For example, the latest research on string theory may not be indexed by Google, but perhaps the Deep Web provides access to the paper, which would provide benefits to students and academicians who’re looking for more information on the subject.
The end perspective is that the Deep Web has both good and bad uses. While illegal activities are prominent, and most reporting on the Deep Web talks about illegal activities, the unknown side of the internet does serve individuals and organizations who face challenging circumstances.