Friday, 30 March 2012

Exploring the Deep Web Part 3:
How I accessed the Darknet

So, now that I've explained how I learned about the Deep Web is like, I suppose I should explain how I accessed it in the end.

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, my first attempt at entering the Deep Web was a failure. The reason being that the site I was trying to access got DDOS'd. So I gave up for about a week, and then decided that I'd try to enter the Deep Web via a different route. I went for TorChan. So I turned on my computer, set up my anonymity programs, hopped on Tor, and dove.

The first thing I noticed was how slowly the page loaded. It felt like I was on the internet years ago. The web design was incredibly simple, the sections of the site loading piece by piece. I was cautious, as this was the Deep Web; so first thing I do, realizing I'm on the biggest secret of the web, was lunge for some scotch tape and covered my webcam. Checking that all my programs were working, I started wandering around, not sure of what horrible things I'd find.

Within a few minutes, I was smiling. The place wasn't as dark as what I'd heard the Deep Web was like, but it certainly was different. There were hackers, yes, but they weren't the evil brooding people they're portrayed as; they were just guys passionate about the internet, searching for information and a challenge. TorChan itself is the perfect site to start at. It's the largest chan in the onionlands The only cheese pizza it shows is made of cheese, tomato, and flour. And what was best for me was how intelligent the lot of them were.

I'm going to end this for now. Tomorrow I'll talk more about what TorChan is like, or maybe about the security I set up to feel confident wandering in there. Maybe I'll switch topics and explain the basics of the gold market, I've been doing a project on that.

Regardless, that's all for now. Happy browsing.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Exploring the Deep Web Part 2:
How I discovered it      

So, now that I've explained what the Deep Web is like, I suppose I should explain how I found out about it.

I first heard about it through the news, when there was word that anonymous had revealed some kind of nest of pedophiles exchanging files. I didn't really feel any draw towards it then, as it just seemed like a den of unsavoury criminals. Later, after I took interest in reddit's /r/darknetplan, I began seeing the Deep Web in a different light. I new before that it supported anonymous conversation; I learned that this could be used for good, for revolutions overthrowing dictators. SOPA showed me that the rights of those on the internet are important, and the deep web seemed like a natural progression from there; a bastion of anonymity, a shield against prying eyes. And, as the deep web became more and more intriguing, I naturally wondered how one might access it.

I followed a rumour that some PDF or jpeg was floating around on 4chan that would help me, and so I dove in, and found it. It was an iceburg photo, depicting the levels of the internet. I lost it long ago, but it was similar to this one:

Eventually, I found out that much of the Deep Web was based around the Tor network. I set up Tor on Mozilla Firefox, pasted in the Hidden Wiki's website, and dove. Unluckily for me, the Hidden Wiki happened to be down that day. The work of some 4chan trolls, I believe. That day I thought I'd done something wrong, that Tor wasn't working, or that the whole thing was some elaborate trolling I'd been put through. I was wrong, but it was about a week later when I actually got onto the Deep Web.

Anyhow, that's all for now. Happy browsing.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Exploring the Deep Web Part 1:
Introductions and etiquette
So I really only got on the internet this year. I could go on and on about it, how I was originally introduced to the actual internet (not just Facebook) through demotivational posters, and how that eventually led to a bizzare combination of attending both Reddit and 4chan. But that's not the point. Those may have been waypoints, but I've always thirsted for more. Deeper material. Information few others accessed. And as such, I began to search out what this material was, and found the Deep Web.

Deepweb. It's a sketchy word, one thrown around a lot, one that people really don't like. It's associated with drugs and killing, illegal materials and gore. Hackers. But what was really there? Was it as dangerous as people said? Was it empty? What was it? Did it have the legendary grifter video? I haven't plunged the net's depths, but I'll tell you what I know.

First off: the Deep Web is populated with people like you and I. People with 9-5 jobs, people who like to laugh, people interested in politics. People with morals. Like 4chan, it has it's trolls. Like reddit, it has it's white knights. Sure, there are other folk. I just haven't seen them, as I've been pretty cautious in my travels.

Second: the Deep Web is slow as hell. If you're the average ADHD internet boy going from link to link looking for his next information high, you probably won't belong. It'll bore you, and you'll leave disappointed. You have to have the right mindset; I'm a bit of a methodical delver, crawling for information, so it works for me.

Last: posts last (seemingly) forever, and move slowly. So care about grammar, and if you're going to try to troll out there, you may as well do a good job. If you make it to "Mariana's Trench" you'll see what I'm talking about.

My experiences are derived from exploring the onionlands via Tor.
Yours may differ.
Either way,

First post! I guess I'll start with who I am. I'm a student, age 19, going to university. I explore the internet, and want to help you explore, too.