How Healthy is the Dark Web?
The dark web features websites that can’t get indexed by conventional search engines. Instead, open-source software products get used to navigate the darknet. They all form the dark web open-source software ecosystem. Now, minimal research has gotten done on this ecosystem. Moreover, the research on the health of the dark web is still questionable.
Activities on the Dark Web
The dark web has dark markets famous for the following:
Distribution of pornography
Selling guns and illegal drugs
Still, the darknet gets used by non-criminal user groups. For example, whistleblowers, journalists, activists, the military, and law enforcement agents. So then, the benefits of the darknet include corporate spying and protecting sources. Also, it helps in sharing confidential information.
How to Access
To access the dark web, two networks get used. These are; Tor and I2P. Tor’s goal is to allow private access to an uncensored web. Further, it respects users’ privacy by connecting them to websites via virtual tunnels. Tor’s popularity is due to its ease of use and its reliable anonymous access.
As a result, it gets 2 to 2.5 million users per day. Likewise, the I2P network facilitates anonymous website hosting. It does this by encryption and relays. I2P users automatically act as a “node” to transfer data. On the contrary, Tor users must decide to become a node.
In 2018, a study showed that I2P has around 32,000 active users on a daily basis. The I2P network can also get used on the surface web.
The Health of the Dark Web
To assess the health of the darknet, Tor and I2P get used. The reason is, they have the highest number of users. Note that data is easy to find on open-source software because of its open nature.
According to research done recently, results suggested a moderate amount of project variety. Furthermore, the potential to grow. All the metrics suggested ecosystem activity. Yet, it was difficult to ascertain to what percentage represented the darknet as a whole. Moreover, the health of the darknet is not steady at any time.
The anonymous nature of the darknet made the collection of data a difficult task. Following that, there was the exclusion of some relevant metrics. In addition, scoping the dark web ecosystem remains quite a task. So then, future work needs to get done.
Things You Should Know About the Darknet
First, not everything is for sale on the darknet. Some of the items we hear about getting sold often turn out to be rumors. For instance, it is easier for a person to buy a gun in real life versus the internet.
Second, the darknet is still mimicking the corporate world. Despite the closure of marketplaces like Hansa, many sites strive to be like corporate sites. For example, the omnipresent software EULA migrated to the dark web.
Also, the darknet provides wholesale goods for local retailers. Some traditional drug cartels use dark web networks for distribution. By doing so, no middlemen get used. Therefore, the cartels send the drugs from their warehouses. People order drugs from the darknet and sell them to their local network.
In conclusion, often, cryptocurrency gets used in transactions.
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