How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream
A glimpse of Jamie bartlett talk:
If you want to buy high-quality, low-price cocaine, there really is only one place to go, and that is the darknet anonymous markets.
Now, you can’t get to these sites with a normal browser — Chrome or Firefox — because they’re on this hidden part of the Internet, known as Tor hidden services, where URLs are a string of meaningless numbers and letters that end in .onion, and which you access with a special browser called the Tor browser.
The Tor browser was originally a U.S. Naval intelligence project. It then became open source, and it allows anybody to browse the net without giving away their location. And it does this by encrypting your IP address and then routing it via several other computers around the world that use the same software.
You can use it on the normal Internet, but it’s also your key to the dark net. And because of this fiendishly clever encryption system, the 20 or 30 — we don’t know exactly — a thousand sites that operate there are incredibly difficult to shut down. Jamie bartlett also told “It is a censorship-free world visited by anonymous users”
Little wonder, then, that it’s a natural place to go for anybody with something to hide, and that something, of course, need not be illegal. On the darknet, you will find whistleblower sites, The New Yorker. You will find political activism blogs. You will find libraries of pirated books. But you’ll also find the drugs markets, illegal pornography, commercial hacking services, and much more besides. Now, the dark net is one of the most interesting, exciting places anywhere on the net.
And the reason is, because although innovation, of course, takes place in big businesses, takes place in world-class universities, it also takes place in the fringes, because those on the fringes — the pariahs, the outcasts — they’re often the most creative because they have to be. In this part of the Internet, you will not find a single lolcat, a single pop-up advert anywhere. And that’s one of the reasons why I think many of you here will be on the darknet fairly soon.