The dark side of the web — exploring darknets
A glimpse of his talk:
“We should be allowed to be curious about something and go do research on it without feeling guilty,” Terry said.
Darknets are frequently described as the “hidden internet.” It’s comprised of the sites and pages that don’t show up on Google searches and most often make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
“The biggest challenge for the darknet is content. Whenever it’s in the headlines it’s for things like pornography or drug or guns,” Terry said.
One of the more recent developments was the shutting down of a site called The Silk Road, where transactions for things like drugs and firearms proliferated. But, Terry has been looking specifically at the more advantageous aspect of what the darknet provides: anonymity.
“The darknet was used during the Arab Spring to organize protests, it’s been used to share information in China. In Iran, the internet is heavily censored and monitored. TOR has been key to keeping users anonymous so that the government there can’t identify individual targets,” Terry said.
TOR is a software bundle that encrypts and redirects traffic between an end user and its destination for the specific purpose of keeping the user anonymous.
Figuring out a way to funnel the beneficial aspects away from the unsavory content remains a challenge, but Terry feels that more users would have such an effect.