|Modified from Image Source|
Why does the Deep Web have such a bad reputation? It can be looked at in many different ways. You could say that the technology that makes it anonymous is its greatest strength, but because of the negative ways that it can be used, anonymity is also its greatest weakness. There are many things that happen on the Deep Web that make it look bad in the eyes of the public, including online drug trafficking, forged money and documents (ie. passports,id’s,etc.), Guns explosives, organs, hired killers, and pretty much anything else that can be considered illegal. If someone wants to buy something from a website on the Deep Web, that website will most likely not use an easily trackable payment method such as a credit card, but is far more likely to use an anonymous online currencies, like Bitcoin. This “cryptocurrency” allows its users to spend it without ever giving away their identities in the purchase so it can't be tracked, and also tor which is the completely anonymous search browser which filters all your searches through many computers around the world so your location can't be tracked.Basically if there is a market for an item that is illegal there will be some way on the Deep Web where you can purchase it or get it through other means.
The next stage in our journey into how the Deep Web can help people is how it can actually aid people in their quest for anonymity.In spite of the criminal aspect of the deep web, it has been shown as a positive thing in other parts of the world. For example, in emerging countries, or countries where citizens are censored by their governments, the deep web offers a way to communicate with the outside world. This has been shown to help in emerging countries, or countries that are being censored by their government and need to get information out on the situation there. This tactic by people and companies has been shown to be successful before by The New Yorker newspaper or even the United States Military. People are able to send in tips to The New Yorker about what really is happening in places, and the military uses it for secure and anonymous connections for their internet and also for people tipping them off if somethings going to happen.
Tor and the Deep Web are also beneficial in many other ways, in a recent study by Pew Research Center it was found that “[s]ix in ten adults feel as though they ‘would like to do more’ to protect the privacy of their personal information online.” This included using fake names or screen names like a nickname online which isn't your real name like an online alter-ego), and also fake information like fake phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Taking these steps can increase people’s online privacy, but by also doing it on a completely anonymous search engine like Tor, it adds a layer of security and privacy. Tor gives no location information or your Internet Protocol (IP) address (a unique string of numbers which identifies each and every computer on the internet which can be used to track you), which is helpful to a citizen who cares about his or her online anonymity. By having the Deep Web it also gives people a sort of online ‘alter-ego’(as talked about above) where they can say and do whatever they want to without fear of prosecution from their government.
Many people are concerned about their privacy online, as evidenced in recent research statistics stating that 66% of people tested believe that the online security and privacy laws are not good enough with the constantly expanding technological industry. These laws need to be amended to account for more recent trends in technology so it is up to date. These trends also have to do with the recent popularity in the Deep Web with Identity theft and selling these stolen identities online. In another study and survey it was found that young adults ranging from the ages of eighteen through twenty-nine are more likely to have their identities stolen in this way of not being blatant of who they are online and giving out information. This problem could have been avoided if they had used the Deep Web where almost everyone there is anonymous and the only way something like that could happen is if you voluntarily gave out information. The Deep Web’s power for good and also bad is one of the main reasons why it is controversial and some people don't use it even though it can be effective in preserving your privacy. Overall I believe the ways people can use it to benefit far outweigh its negative connotations and controversy.
The Deep Web by definition is “the part of the World Wide Web that is not discoverable by means of standard search engines (aka. Google).” It is a place where good and bad things can happen. But so is the regular web, isn’t it? Internet anonymity is a very important subject, especially when talking about the Deep Web because it relates so closely to why the Deep Web is a place of good and not just evil and illegal activities. I am confident to say that the Deep Web is a place where users can benefit from this anonymity and can voice their opinions and other thoughts without any fear of prosecution even though there are some so called “rough edges” which can be fixed in time and with adaption with the Deep Web and the people who use it.
The Deep Web a part of the web where most normal internet users dare not to enter, it is a place that can be very controversial and for most people they consider to be bad, but for every bad side of something they're are also positives that can outweigh these negatives. This topic is very important to our class and our concept of digital citizenship with our constantly evolving age of technology and social media, but also for people who wish to be anonymous on the internet and to protect their identity and even benefit other groups of people by doing this. Over the course of this blog project it has taught me a few new things and also skills, also by doing this project i was able to see other peoples opinions on this topic of the deep web and how they can be interested in it and how it can be apart of people's lives also.Most of the comments that were given to me just helped me in solidifying my thinking that these positives outweigh the negatives, my opinion has not changed at all on the topic.Next, due to the comments and the constructive criticism i am now interested in ways that they can improve the deep web and its anonymity, i would also be more interested in the numbers of users it has.Overall, I have profusely enjoyed doing this blog project and putting something on the internet that relates so closely to our class digital citizenship and also all the people who use the internet and i would just like to be thankful for that.
Thank You, BowdenE