The Internet has become a fundamental tool for the daily lives of most people, positioning itself as a universe of knowledge one click away. Whenever someone wants to find information on a topic, the first option they go to is a web browser.
However, not everything is knowledge in that place, there are various levels of depth that can make the Internet increasingly dark. One of them is the deep web, a series of servers that remain hide because search engines are not interest in showing them or because their managers block traditional search engines.
The deep web or deep Internet is online content that is not indexed in search engines such as Google, Bing, Baidu or Yahoo!. The concept was born in 2001 and was coined by computer expert Michael Bergman when explaining how search engines index content on the Internet.
Deep Web Is Not the Same as Dark Web
On the deep web you can find private pages, databases, common pages deindexed from Google or other search engines. Despite this, people often refer to the deep web as something dark and full of illegal or dangerous content, this often happens because it is confuse with the dark web.
Two types of content can be found on the deep web: that which is access simply by indicating the domain or IP address, and inaccessible content that, in addition to being unindexed from traditional search engines, is blocked with a username and password. Some examples of the latter are: third-party bank accounts, private social network profiles, emails, medical databases, legal documentation, among others.
Trying to access this content could be consider an illicit and/or illegal activity, so it is not always possible to answer how to enter the deep web.
On the other hand, the dark web is where there is content that should not be online and that goes against the laws of various countries. If a person wants to buy or hire an illegal service, they can get it on that site. Access to this network is more complicated and is based on darknets that, in many cases, require an invitation.
However, it is important to note that on the deep web, depending on the site being access, people may come across dark web content.
What Are the Dangers of Entering the Deep Web?
What is the deep web and what are the dangers of navigating through this network?
- In the deep web there are hackers and computer criminals who are on the lookout for someone unsuspecting to download or access content that allows the use or theft of their personal information.
- People can run into unknown criminals, which poses a risk to the integrity and security of the user and even his family, if he manages to reveal personal data and information.
- There is a possibility that when someone goes to buy a product through the deep web, they end up buying something illegal or being a victim of fraud.
- Depending on the content accessed, the user may acquire responsibility for an illegal act that leads to criminal consequences.
- The content of the deep web can be emotionally damaging and thus affect the personal and family.
The Largest Takedown on the Deep Web
In July 2017, Europol announced that in collaboration with the FBI and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) they dismantled two of the main criminal markets on the deep web.
These were the AlphaBay and Hansa sites, which were dedicate to trafficking drugs and weapons. According to the authorities, the investigation made it possible to shut down the infrastructure of a “hidden criminal” economy responsible for the trafficking of up to 350,000 illegal items such as drugs, stolen firearms, child pornography videos or malicious software used in cyberattacks.
At a press conference, the United States attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, assured that the case was the largest takedown in history of deep web sites.
AlphaBay creator and boss Alexander Cazes, 25, was arrest on July 5, 2017 in Thailand at the request of the United States. Cazes, a Canadian national, committed suicide on July 12 while in the custody of Thai authorities.
The FBI and the DEA seized objects such as: luxury vehicles, mansions, a hotel in Thailand, among other valuables from Cazes’ wife. The governments of the Netherlands, Thailand, Lithuania, Canada, France and the United Kingdom participated in this investigation.
What Are the Countries That Use the Deep Web the Most?
In 2017, the University of Oxford published data on the countries that make the most use of domains with the ending .onion, which are the Tor pages of the deep web, in which it revealed that more than two million users use Tor on a daily basis. Half are in Europe and is equivalent to 80 per 100,000 European Internet users.
Among the European countries that use Tor the most are Germany, France, Italy and Spain. In America, they are the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. The Middle East and North Africa are also list as the nations that use the deep web the most.