When most people think of the dark web, they likely conjure up images of online markets engaged in illegal activities like drug trafficking and money laundering. While it’s true that the anonymous nature of the dark web makes it a popular platform for these types of activities, it’s important to remember that the dark web economy is much more complex and multifaceted.
One positive aspect of the dark web economy is the way it allows for the free exchange of ideas and information. Because the dark web is not indexed by search engines and is only accessible through special software, it allows for a level of privacy and anonymity that isn’t possible on the regular internet. This can be especially important for individuals living in countries with strict internet censorship laws, as it allows them to access information and communicate with others in a way that would otherwise be impossible.
Overreacting to the darknet is common, as this story illustrates:
One day, a group of friends heard about the dark web and decided to check it out. As they navigated to the site, they noticed a strange message pop up on their screens warning them about the dangers of the dark web. Panicked, they immediately unplugged their computers and threw them out the window, convinced that they had stumbled upon some sort of nefarious cyber underworld. Little did they know, they had simply mistyped the URL and ended up on a regular website with a warning message about the dark web. Oops!
Believe it or not, a beneficial aspect of the dark web economy is the way it allows for the trade of legitimate goods and services. While it’s true that the dark web is often associated with questionable activities, there are also a number of legal businesses operating on the platform. For example, there are dark web marketplaces that specialize in the sale of rare and hard-to-find items, as well as services like, website design, scripts, and graphics.
It’s important to note that many websites on the dark web are not well known and are often used for illegal activities. Here are three examples of well-known websites that are available on the dark web:
- The Tor Project: The Tor Project is a well-known website that provides access to the dark web through its free, open-source software called the “Tor Browser.” The Tor Project is a legitimate organization that promotes internet privacy and freedom of expression.
- ProPublica: ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit news organization that produces investigative journalism. It has a presence on the dark web to allow users to access its content anonymously and evade censorship.
- Riseup: Riseup is a collective that provides email, VPN, and other communication tools for activists and organizers. It has a presence on the dark web to allow users to communicate securely and privately.
Just because these websites are legitimate and have a presence on the dark web, doesn’t mean everything there is just fine. The dark web can lead down some pretty dark alleys, so exercise caution. While it can be a useful platform for the exchange of ideas and the trade of legal goods and services, it’s also wise to be aware of the potential risks associated with using the dark web, including the possibility of encountering illegal activities or scams.
For more research:
- “The Dark Web: A Beginner’s Guide” (Techradar, 2021) https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/the-dark-web-a-beginners-guide