There is a crazy place online that is accessed by millions, but a majority of us have never even seen it. It’s a scary place, and it isn’t for the faint of heart. These are 10 things you didn’t know about the dark web.
From international terrorist lists, to show how government weapons work, there are tons of classified documents on the deep web. Though it does take some digging, there are sites that are archives that release government information. Much like wikileaks, the people who run the dark web are able to hack government servers an release information they believe should be public knowledge. There are also documents that the government allows on the deep web, such as information that is gathered about people and regions of the United States.
The fact that you can hire a hitman on the internet has to be a cause for concern. The dark web has many sites that claim they can rough someone up, or even kill them if the price is right. They say, they employ gang members who are strapped for cash and will do the deed for $5000. If it is something a little bit more calculated and professional you want, you can hire an ex-military sniper for $30,000. Hopefully you’ll never be in the position that you will have to hire a contract killer, it seems a bit expensive!
Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world, and just under drugs for the latest source of illegal income. It is estimated that 600,000-800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders every year. The purpose is either for enslavement or commercial sexual exploitation. On the dark web, there are websites that feature young girls who are abducted and are up for auction for the highest bidder. There are many sites that use fake photos of girls from graphic movies, but, the presence of illegal human trafficking sites in the dark web is very real, and very scary.
Alternate Reality Games
An alternate reality games set up by the dark web is almost like a real life scavenger hunt, and it can either be really cool, or kind of freaky. One reddit user became so engulfed with a game called “No Love” that he ended up in New York city at 3 am just to answer a phone call from a payphone. The game started as a scavenger hunt set up by a band called “No Love” who just announced a release of their album. The first clues were accessed through fingering out codes and passwords that would lead you to more codes and passwords, and eventually an unmastered copy of one of their songs. The game was ended when it lead to fans getting a taste of the new album before everyone else.
Though the dark web is known to sell some pretty shady stuff, there is another side that sells completely bizarre goods. For $50 you can get yourself a pound of sand, it’s not any sort of special sand either, the seller even says, “It’s just sand”. There was one user who purchased something that promised to be a “mind blowing experience” and what arrived a few days later was a hand held vacuum. The strangest goods sold on the dark web are wish pills that are supposed to make your wishes come true when you take them, and a German guy who sells nothing but pretzels.
Rare Animal Trade
The sell of rare animals online has gotten so bad that there are actual risks of certain species going into extinction because of online dealers. Criminals have been able to take rare animals from their natural habitats and ship them overnight to the highest bidders. There are several animals affected by this, such as elephants that are slaughtered for their ivory tusks. Parts of tigers and rhinos are used in traditional medicine of ground down and added to wine. There are even birds and reptiles, sold on the dark web, because they are easily caught and sold as pets.
The size of dark web
What many people don’t realize is how large the dark web is. The access that most people have to the internet is just the surface, which is pages like Google and YouTube. It is said that the surface web only accounts for .03% of the entire internet. The next layer of the internet is where the dark web resides. These are parts of the internet that can’t be reached by any mainstream search engines like Google or Bing. For these sites you need a special web browser that hides or changes your IP address. What many don’t know is that the dark web is just a part of the deep web. The two aren’t the same; the deep web is much larger as it refers to all webpages that are invisible to search engines.
Journalists use it
There are many ways that journalist are able to protect their sources, but they don’t always keep their sources safe. It’s easy for people to be tracked and recorded on the surface internet, so many journalists and whistle blowers use the safety and security of the dark web to protect themselves. There is an instant messaging site that helps journalist speak with their sources without the fear of being watched by an outside party. This system has been tested by security officials, and is completely legal. The messaging site is considered a triumph by vocal privacy advocates, and should be a celebration for everyone who believes people should be able to leak information about wrong doings without the fear of punishment.
You need an invite
It’s no wonder you might need an invite to certain parts of the internet. The dark web plays host to so many shady characters that no one can be exactly sure if they are talking to law enforcement or not. Because of this, for many of the sites and merchants found on the dark web, you will need to be invited. If you are someone without any references,and you are trying to purchase illegal or controversial goods, it’s most likely the merchant will scold you, and they will change their site address so you can no longer access it.