Friday, January 10, 2014
Apparently it's existed for more than a decade.
It was, all of a sudden, big news, about two months ago, after police shut down "Silk Road," an online marketplace that was the eBay for drugs, and arrested its creator.
I perused the NY Times, Daily Mail, UK, and aTime Magazine cover story, and learned that it's called the Deepnet, Invisible Web, Undernet, or Hidden Web. And its content can't be accessed by Google, Bing or other search engines.
What is it? It's dirty sex, porno, drugs, criminal activities, illegal money-making ventures, government secrets, stuff about explosives, over-throwing governments, and nasty gossip about famous folks. Time said if you want info, it's like dragging a net through the ocean, and gathering tons of debris.
Huge, it is! The hidden Web beneath is about eight petabytes. One "peta" is a quadrillion gigabytes -- the numbers are beyond comprehension. The flotsam and jetsam you can gather is called "dynamic content" that could be accessed though a domain, but you can't get to it if you don't know the name of the domain.
So why do we need to know about all this hidden stuff? Because on the Hidden/Invisible Web, deadly crimes are brewing.
Ross Ulbricht, 28-years-old, was arrested and jailed because, aside from drugs, Silk road is selling fake ID's, fireworks, hacking software, names of guys (contractors) who do anything if you pay them.
On Silk Road, anonymous clients -- politicians, rulers, celebrities, criminals -- could do whatever they want and not get arrested, jailed, or fined. The FBI set up a sting operation and learned that Silk Road has helped a million customers, and sold more than two billion dollars worth of contraband. Even though Ross Ulbricht used "onion routing" (layers of encryption), the FBI discovered that Ross had collected more than $80 million in fees.
Encryption -- referred to as Tor, has actually been funded by the US. Government. Tor is used by police and FBI to trace anonymous tips, and investigate "The Farmer's Market," (not the market that is a few blocks from my house, where New Yorkers come from all the five boroughs to buy organic food). This market is the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet -- its clients come from all over the world, including Jihadists.
The jailed Ross wasn't into porn. He made money, using "Bitcoins," money with no physical form that could be transferred without banks, brokers, or fees. You use bitcoins to buy information. (I read that the Howard Johnson Website, a dating service called OKCupid, and a New York City bar, use bitcoins; whatever you buy arrives by regular mail, looking like junk mail -- be it drugs, stocks and bonds, or the services of a someone who will kill your enemy.)
That's how Ross got caught. He wanted to have an employee who was stealing bitcoins, killed. He found a hit man on the Deep Web, who just happened to be undercover FBI agent. This hit man was also blackmailing someone. Ross offered $150,000 in bitcoins to another hit man to kill the blackmailer-hit man, who had proved, with fake photos, that he'd killed someone whom he hadn't killed.
Furthermore, the FBI, policing the Internet, has enabled criminal messaging -- BlackBerry, Apple, iPhones, iPads, are using encrypted message. (Our monthly financial statements that are loaded with private information about us, are sent to us encrypted, but even onion=skinned encryption isn't safe.)
Hey, THIS IS SCARY. What should we do about this invisible, hidden, deep, dark stuff?
I don't know, but I want to know more.
Here's a link -- How to Access the Deep Net Click "working links" (the third reference). Take a look at what's out there, and view the video below.
Confucius said: “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.”