The dark web is a lawless online territory where cybercriminals sell stolen data and services like phishing, ransomware and credit card information. It is also a popular place for illegal activities like human trafficking and murder on demand. To access the dark web, users need a specialized browser like Tor that makes them anonymous online. The Tor browser features a peeled onion icon in the middle.
The Dark Web Sites is a smorgasbord of information and people. Some of it is eerily digestible – like Numbers Station, which displays a pitch black screen with shrieks and whispers that can be heard by clicking the seek bar. Other parts of the dark web are more shady. One example is Riseup, a group that promotes human liberation and supports causes like ecological sustainability. They offer organizational tools and mailing lists to activists.
Whether or not you’re an activist, the dark web can be dangerous. There are also sites that sell hacking tools and give you the option to send media and text messages to your operatives – all with an autodestruct feature. ZeroBin is a great example. It lets you feel a little bit like James Bond, but it can be very dangerous.
The nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica shines a spotlight on abuses of power and betrayals of trust. Its reporting contributes to the passage of new laws, reversals of harmful policies and holds institutions accountable for their actions. The newsroom takes on stories that are too complex, expensive or legally risky for other media outlets to take. Its work is often data-driven and collaborates with local newsrooms to make national issues relevant to communities.
As a nonprofit, ProPublica depends on donations to support its mission. However, it does not accept money from any entity that would influence its independence or its ability to report on matters of public concern. Its editors and staff must abide by a code of ethics that prohibits participation in groups or activities that advocate for a specific policy or political solution related to their coverage area.
Designed and developed by Aaron Swartz before his death, SecureDrop is an open source software platform that provides a way for journalists to communicate with sources in private. Originally named DeadDrop, the project was rebooted by the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2013. Sources can upload files and messages using Tor Browser or Tails. The news organization decrypts the submission and reads it on an air-gapped computer that is never connected to the Internet. The message is then deleted from the server.
The system is designed to keep journalists from accidentally giving away the source’s identity through document metadata or plaintext messages, and it prevents the news organization itself from revealing the source’s identity. Most of the informants I spoke with were reluctant to reveal specific stories that originated as tips or documents from SecureDrop.
Keybase is a directory that maps social media identities (like Twitter, Reddit, and Hacker News) to encryption keys. It also offers a cloud-based file system and end-to-end encrypted chat. However, the app has some issues. One major issue is that it collects plenty of data, including user names, email addresses, and phone numbers. It can be dangerous if malicious actors get access to this information.
The popular notion is that the dark web is a hub for all things illegal, from arms trafficking to sex and drugs. However, the truth is more complex. Many websites on the dark web aren’t nefarious at all. They can help with things like privacy monitoring, cryptocurrency and advanced tips for those who are security-conscious.
- Max Verstappen will start on pole position for his title showdown against Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.