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Research Paper Meant To Explore The Topic Of The Dark Web (Essay Sample)


This was a research paper meant to explore the topic of the dark web.


The Dark Web
SchoolThe Dark Web
The internet has proliferated to such a degree that it is now widely used all over the world. The benefits that it offers have already been recognized and well taken advantage of. However, the internet has also led to the development of a host of new threats and problems that were previously unknown. For instance, the “Dark Web” is a new phenomenon that has arisen in recent years. In rough terms, it refers to areas of the internet that are not accessible by the conventional means that are used by ordinary users of the internet. Instead, the Dark Web is accessed through special encryption services, which offer a much higher degree of security and confidentiality as opposed to the standard encryption methods.
Unlike the internet, the Dark Web consists of encrypted peer networks which can only be accessed through specific connection methods, such as using special programs and browsers for the purpose. This also allows many internet users to create websites that are hosted on this Dark Web network. The advantage that they enjoy is greater anonymity and cyber security. In addition, users can connect to and use these Dark Web sites with the knowledge that they are more secure as opposed to using traditional web sites. Of course, this has also created the potential for a lot of abuse.
The problem with a lot of these Dark Web sites, and what constitutes the biggest concern for law enforcement, is that they can be used to unlawfully host criminal content and offer illegal services. For example, one example is the infamous “Silk Road”, an encrypted website that was hosted on the Dark Web, and could only be accessed by using a special encryption program called Tor (Mathews, 2017). This encryption program was originally developed and funded by the United States government for the purposes of increasing its cyber-security capabilities (Bilton, 2017). Since then, however, the encryption program has begun to be widely used by ordinary users as well. Now, many internet users with malicious intentions can make use of the Tor Network — one example of the Dark Web — in order to conduct criminal activities with greater hopes of remaining undetected.
The Silk Road was infamous for offering a marketplace similar to Ebay on the Dark Web, with the main difference that everything offered on the site was illegal. For example, users used this Dark Web site in order to buy and sell illegal drugs, even across international borders. Even worse, the website allowed users to buy and sell weapons, and even more frightening services such as kidnappings and murders for hire. Naturally, this attracted the attention of law enforcers around the world, who were quick to engage into investigations and action on the matter (Aldrick, 2017). More importantly, the existence and growing popularity of the website was one of the first arguments that was used in order to point to the problem of the existence of the Dark Web, and the need to undertake action in stopping it.
The Tor Network, which later gave opened up to the gates to the ‘Dark Web’, was originally developed in order to offer the American government greater benefits in terms of cyber security. According to some reports, the Tor Network may have been intentionally leaked to the public in order to allow CIA agents greater anonymity on the network. Since connections are visible without revealing the identities of users, CIA agents could afford themselves greater anonymity by making sure that they were not the only users on the network (Levine, 2014). From a certain perspective, this can be seen as a big error on the part of the US government. Even though greater anonymity was provided in this case by allowing ordinary users to connect as well, they also made society in general more insecure by allowing individuals to conduct criminal activities without being caught.
The example of the Silk Road, as well as the existing and ongoing similar sites and illegal operations on the Dark Web, are direct examples of why it needs to be managed more strictly by the government. There is little doubt about the enormous value that the Dark Web offers to the government in terms of national security, especially in a day and age when cyber attacks between countries are on the rise, and are more brutal than ever. However, law enforcement agencies also need to find a fine balance between using such security systems on the one hand, and not allowing these same systems to harm society on the other hand.
The Dark Web is an important technologic development that has equally constructive and destructive potentials. Unfortunately, it is a technology that lack sufficient cont...
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