Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Dark Side of the Internet

Many of us feel like we have already mastered the Internet; that, with the help of powerful search engines like Google and Yahoo!, there really is nothing out of reach in the world wide web. The Internet, once mysterious and awesome, is now mundane. But what if I told you that the Internet is more than what is within the reach of search engines; that just as the Universe has dark matter, the Internet has "dark web"? Spooky, right?


Note: The image above does not belong to me. No copyright infringement intended. All rights revert back to the owner. Image sourced from http://bit.ly/oiYlfg.

Dark web "consists of unremarkable consumer and research data that is beyond the reach of search engines." According to Michael Bergman, an American academic and entrepreneur who is a foremost authority on this other Internet, "[t]he deep web is currently 400 to 550 times larger than the commonly defined world wide web. x x x The deep web is the fastest growing category of new information on the [I]nternet. x x x The value of deep web content is immeasurable...internet searches are searching only 0.03%...of the [total web] pages available."

Because the dark/deep web is beyond the reach of search engines, it has become a haven for illegal and illicit activities such as the sharing and proliferation of computer and network viruses, online scamming, and child pornography. For instance, "[t]here is a well-known crime syndicate called the Russian Business Network (RBN)," says Craig Labovitz, chief scientist at Arbor Networks, a leading online security firm, "and they are always jumping around the [I]nternet, grabbing bits of [disused] address space, sending out millions of spam e-mails from there, and then quickly disconnecting." He continues, "[t]he RBN also rents temporary websites to other criminals for online identity theft, child pornography, and releasing computer viruses."

--Jan Nicklaus S. Bunag, Entry No. 4

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