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The hidden side of Internet: Deep Web

David Benitez Moreno

Context: Internet is the widest field of knowledge that humans have had access but not
all content is reachable for the common user. There is information that remains hidden
to society in the most profound part of Internet called Deep Web. But we now have a
chance to keep learning thanks to deep web browsers. As always, information is related
to technology and society both monitored by governments. Outline: There is a lot of
information related to the Deep Web, this article covers a basic part of it, from basic
notions to how we can access it with TOR and I2P browsers, and what content we can
find. Importance: Information and knowledge have always been something precious and
right now governments are trying to keep track of this useful information without any
restriction. This is why Deep Web and TOR browser will allow you to keep this
information anonymous.
Keywords: Deep Web; browser; TOR
What is Deep Web?
Also known as Deep net, Invisible Web, Dark Web or Hidden Web it is a shrouded
mystery for common internet users. The value of deep web content is immeasurable
internet searches are searching only 0.03% of the [total web] pages available [1]
affirms Michael K. Bergman a well-known Web scientist; therefore we are not aware of
all contents that are present on this World Wide Web.
These web pages are not searchable because they are not indexed by the common
search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Indexing is a set of methods used by search
engines to facilitate fast and accurate information retrieval [2]. However, the most
important aspect of indexing are the web crawlers, they are automated bots which go
across Webs threads, like spiders jumping from link to link, generating a giant structure
that can be saved and listed thanks to indexation. The answer to why these web pages
are not retrieved is diverse; maybe the format is not index able because it is a flash web,
probably programmers code them for being ignored, though also they can be protected
by password consequently inaccessible. Nevertheless, some of them are dynamic like
the ones that get retrieved when you query an online database.
How can we access these hidden webs?
Not indexed does not mean inaccessible, we just need the URL (Uniform Resource
Locator) or the IP (Internet Protocol) to access these web pages. Besides, the problem is
that most of them are encrypted and normal web browsers as Google Chrome and
Mozilla Firefox cannot display them without the encryption tool [3].
Here comes Tor, an anonymous web browser that keeps your identity masked and your
location falsified. It uses numerous layers of security and encryption to render users
anonymous online [4] by hiding IP (Internet Protocol) from being tracked. More
important is that Tor has the tools for decrypting these web pages mentioned above. All
web pages that are .onion domain can be decrypted because they are inside the Tor
servers network.

But not only Tor is able to dive in the Deep Web, I2P (Invisible Internet Project) is
another web browser which differ in that was designed and optimized for hidden
services, which are much faster than in Tor, as the network is fully distributed and selforganizing[5]. As Tor, I2P has his own address domains called .i2p that cannot be
retrieved by Tor; equally I2P cannot retrieve .onion domains.
Both browsers provide anonymity but the deep net stills being dangerous so you have to
be careful with your behavior when diving on it. It is recommended the use of virtual
machines because in case of malware infection, probably it will not go through all your
files. Additionally, downloading files from Tor could be dangerous so must be avoided
equally as enabling any web plugin that could have been exploited like Flash plugin.
Also, Tor project recommends visiting all HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)
versions of websites because it only encrypts packets to and within the Tor network but
the traffic between you and the final destination depends on the security of the protocol.
What can we find?
In our society Deep Web has been related to something illegal and dark but nowadays is
more often used. Commonly associated with illegal activities such as drug dealers,
weapon markets, fake identifications and hiring hitmans; has attracted the attention of
common internet users as result of the actual though of U.S government and others are
spying on citizens [6].
Numerous forums about conspiracy and spying have raised in the last years as result of
Edwards Snowden findings of U.S government intentions.
Freedom is a word that should define the Deep Web as opposed of dark and illegal,
ideas that governments and social media try to establish. People should be free on
expressing theirs opinions on this World Wide Web without being traced and being
spied by authorities. On the other hand, not all the activities inside this enormous
domain are legal so it can be so difficult to keep track of them without invading users
privacy. Once and for all, the access and use of Deep Web browsers is linked strictly to
everyones intention, bad or good.
[1]theguardian (November 2009), The dark side of internet (1
November 2015)
[2]Wikipedia (December 2012), Search engine indexing (1 November 2015)
[3]PC ADVISOR (August 2015), What is the Dark Web? How to access the Dark Web.
What's the difference between the Dark Web and the Deep Web? (2 November 2015)
[4]MailOnline (October 2013), The disturbing world of the Deep Web, where contract
killers and drug dealers ply their trade on the internet (2 November 2015)

[5]Allen Freeman (2012), Tor vs. I2P: The Great Onion Debate (2 November
[6] Robert E.G. Beens(uknown), No PRISM. No Surveillance. No Government Back
Doors. You Have our Word on it.
(2 November 2015)