A Chronicle of the Dark Digital Underworld

By: | June 4th, 2015

Most people spend their time on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Ebay or similar sites and a handful of favorite news sites. In this way, most internet users exist on the tip of the iceberg (see image below) which is much larger and murky below the waterline and the light of day.

The New Wild, Wild West

The Dark Net, Inside the Digital Underworld by Jamie Bartlett (@JamieJBartlett) has just been released and is a look into the secrets of the dark internet. The dark internet is that area of the internet unreachable by Chrome, Firefox and other popular browsers that ply the “surface internet.” To get to the deep web one needs a TOR aka the Onion Browser.

According to Douglas Heaven of the New Scientist, “The dark offers smart, provoking reported from the crooked crannies of digital culture, married to a quietly impressive analysis of how technology is amplifying both the best and the worst of us.”

The Dark Net & Emerging Subcultures

When we say “subculture” we are often talking about cultures that live on the edge of what’s considered right, proper and legal and what’s considered wrong, improper and illegal by wider society. But it’s clear that much of the creativity and “mold breaking” that moves society forward emerges from the darkness of human activity, from gems that are brought  into the light and then, over time, emerge into the mainstream. At the same time, referring to the “dark net” probably does more harm than good by demonizing those who, for whatever reason, don’t find a place in the mainstream and like to take the risk of living on the cutting edge.

Take the recent legalization of marijuana and that just a couple decades ago the US was locking up marijuana smokers and distributors, sometimes for life.

Some of the more interesting and controversial sites or markets on the Dark Internet include:

  • an assassination marketplace, i.e., vigilantes
  • secret Facebook groups
  • political extremists
  • trolls
  • pornographers
  • drug dealers – i.e., “Pink Meth”
  • hackers
  • Libertarians
  • self-farmers
  • advocates of “crypto wars”

Following is a graphic of the dark web:

The following video is an interview with Jamie Bartlett on LondonReal.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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