DRAFT NOTE: This article is incomplete and will be so until
tomorrow forever a long time from now when I can figure out how to more eloquently explain the US Navys connection to onion routing, what Tor is, what the deep web is, and other information about the current state of affairs of the deep web/what you should know.
On May 29th, 1998 the U.S. Navy acquired a patent for a technology called onion routing.uspto.gov Washington D.C. acquired the patent to provide a secure internet communication method for
espionage facets of government that might require complete secrecy. However, the technology alone was not powerful enough to provide a completely anonymous communication method. Because onion routing works by “randomly” bouncing around encrypted communications within the onion routing network, the level of secure anonymity it provides increases with its user base. So to solve this problem D.C. released the communication method to the public. And now pedophilia, crime, identity theft, and every imaginable heinous internet activity is protected with a U.S. patented technology that is becoming more and more powerful as the user base increases.
No Conspiracy Theory
According to Michael Reed, one of the original developers of onion routing, the question that led to its invention was, “Can we build a system that allows for bi-directional communications over the Internet where the source and destination cannot be determined by a mid-point?”Original Reed EMail The email in response to conspiracy theories, stresses that the purpose of onion routing is to merely provide a secure communication method. Essentially, he tells us that there is no conspiracy theory behind onion routing going open source. However, he does note the long list of illegal, illegitimate, and immoral uses of onion routing that were conceivable as the service was being developed.
Onion Routing Helps Good People Too
Before we continue, is important to note that onion routing helps good people too. It powers secure communication methods across many different fields. Normal people use Tor (an onion routing powered internet browser) to protect against ISPs (Internet Service Providers) who sell all your internet browsing records to the highest bidder. Militaries use Tor to protect field agents when they are staying at hotels where their communications and connections to secret military servers can easily be monitored. Journalists use Tor in countries where political activism is punishable. Bloggers use Tor to protect themselves from being sued. Some people from China use onion routing to bypass the Great Firewall that the Chinese government set up to prevent its citizens from viewing politically sensitive information on the internet. The list of ways anonymous browsing can be used for positive purposes is endless.
Good people that use Onion Routing
- Normal people
- Law enforcement
- Business executives
Yin, Meet Yang
However, for all the positive uses of onion routing, there are a thousand negative uses. Using an onion routing powered internet browser like Tor allows users to talk about whatever they wish to on the internet in complete secrecy. Want to hire someone to kill your neighbor? Tor. Want to buy illegal drugs online? Tor. Child porn? Tor. Gizmodo even wrote an article about The Secret Online Weapons Store That’ll Sell Anyone Anything.
Bad Things Onion Routing is Used For
- Child porn
- Highly dangerous weapons
- Fake identities (IDs, passports, etc.)
- Contract killers
- Drugs (Weed, LSD, Cocaine, prescription, etc.)
- Credit card information
- Illegal downloads
What is Tor?
Tor is software that allows you to use onion routing to protect your identity.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis. Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.
To recap, your internet traffic is encrypted and sent through a random and constantly changing network of servers. Your data is only unencrypted at the end of your “data tunnel.”
Anonymous hacked the alleged pedophiles by monitoring the traffic at one of these endpoints.
What is the Deep Web?
Wikipedia blocks people from the Tor network as made apparent by their article on what to do if you are coming from the tor network: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_firewall#Technical_implementation
Further instructions for setting up Tor: http://www.instructables.com/id/Go-Online-without-Getting-Snooped-Tor-The-Onion-/step4/Now-be-Careful/
Surveillence self defense: https://ssd.eff.org/tech/tor
TheNextWeb coverage: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/10/08/mail-order-drugs-hitmen-child-porn-a-journey-into-the-dark-corners-of-the-deep-web/
MakeUseOf finding active .onion sites: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/find-active-onion-sites/
Good and bad of deep web: http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/8719/cyber-crime/the-good-and-the-bad-of-the-deep-web.html
TheHackerNews: Good infographic of deep web: http://thehackernews.com/2012/05/what-is-deep-web-first-trip-into-abyss.html
Account of 10 mins into deep web is disgusting: http://jjie.org/drugs-child-pornography-hit-men-minutes-deep-web/16331
Project Vigilant at war with bad Tor users: http://sheddingbikes.com/posts/1293530004.html
The Hidden Wiki blog article: http://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/16290-The-Hidden-Wiki-Layers-of-The-Onion-Router-Networks.html