1.What is typically understood about your topic, providing necessary background of the issue?

To most, the dark web is usually unknown or had been given a hady or bad reputation by the media. However, people in IT and a few other occupations understand the dark web as something else, something with real world use and purpose.

2.What you find problematic about the typical understanding of your topic, and why this problem is significant to understand?

I find it problematic that dark nets have this bad reputation, when in reality they are used for more than just illegal activities and black markets. They are used to keep “personal data” personal and to retain anonymity over the web.

3.How the research you’ve conducted weighs in on (2) and helps frame how you understand the issue at hand- Your thesis; what you think people should embrace instead of (1) given (2) and (3).

I have read and listen to many people who use dark nets for their intended purpose or who have delved into the topic in attempts to reveal what the darknet truly is like. From all these different viewpoints explaining the uses and how it truly isn’t a malicious entity i have gain understanding of what a darknet really is, why we shouldn’t fear it, and perhaps turn to it as an alternative to our current means of accessing the web.

4.The main points of your argument you wish to address demonstrating why (4) and the support you have for these points.

I wish to argue the future of dark nets, seeing how the retain a person’s anonymity and personal data, as a step of identity protection, and since the Snowden leak, maybe the future norm of internet browsing.


Two Post Connections

As I looked through my peer’s posts i had a hard time finding similar posts. I happened to discuss whether a mostly unknown entity was good or bad. I ended up settling upon the idea that darknets are a tool, and like any tool it can be used for good or bad, depending on the user.

For my sources, I feel quite satisfied. Mostly because my sources are from in-field experts, or those who have firsthand experience with using darknets for all kinds of purposes. A decent chunk consists of primary sources, video interviews and lectures. full of intriguing and relevant information. Regardless of who you are, you most likely use the internet, which means the topic discussed by my sources is relevant to you.


  1. Should the darknet be taken out? -Cath Everett
  2. Deep Web for Journalists: Comms, Counter-surveillance, Search -Alan Pearce
    MASSIVE BLACK BOX – Daniel Sui, James Caverlee, Dakota Rudesill
  4. The Darkside of Internet Freedom: The Net Delusion- Evgeny Morozov
  5. The Darkside of The Web- Kyle Terry
  6. The Dark Web- Alan Pearce
  7. The Dark Net isn’t What You Think- Alex Winter
  8. The Dark net: inside the digital underworld- Jamie Barlett
  9. How the Mysterious Darknet is going Mainstream- Jamie Barlett


Concept Experience

1- Most popular used of the dark web. Unfortunately, this can be where things get a little- ehhhhh, shady.. According to a University study ” the most commonly requested type of content on Tor was illegal pornography, followed by black markets, while the individual sites with the highest traffic were dedicated to botnet operations.” However, the tools given to an individual with Tor are to be used at their discretion, whether that be the good, bad or ugly. With the average person using Tor, I think site popularity would shift to a more socially acceptable lot.

On another note, the bulk of the dark web (24.4%) is made of markets, which can sell anything from contraband to a copy or Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

2- Jamie Bartlett(s1), a British Tech-blogger agrees that the dark web is something that will gain in popularity and has a good potential of becoming the “norm” for internet. He also has stated alongside Alan Pearce(s2), that the deep web is a tool. It’s intentions only mirror those of its wielder. Both also agree it’s a shame that the dark web has such a bad reputation in the media for reasons stated in step 1, but by its nature there will be those who abuse a system where freedom is granted. This however cannot be blamed on the deep web, only on those with desire for these products. They bend the anonymity of the deep web to their will and uses it for unethical purposes.

3- When people are given freedom there will always be those who abuse it. Like nuclear materials in weapons and fission reactors, the deep web can be used for both good and evil. At the end of the day it depends on the wielder of the tool, and where they direct it. Even in argument about the ethicality of the dark web, reporters can agree that even the some of the worst it has to offer can better IRL (in real life) situations. Example being the drug traffickers in south america and smugglers. Murder and violence typically follow in wake of the cartels, but with black markets on the internet things become much less violent. It is possible to argue the ethicality of most things on the deep web, most of which can be won, however some are doomed to lose (like porn).

Source Nugget

These two internet news outlets discuss how the popularity of a dark web internet browser (Tor) has gained tremendous amounts of popularity since 2013.

“The US witnessed a jump of over 50,000 users from 100,000 to 150,000; the UK witnessed a nearly 100 per cent jump from 175,000 to 350,000; and Germany registered a rise to 880,000 from 450,000.”

Information in the text reflect back to the Snowden leaks, which is the bases for the spike in popularity and is what made me think of my research topic to begin with.

Investigators assemble reflection

I looked through my peers “investigators assemble” posts and saw all whom had posted followed a similar criteria, relating their four sources in addition to one of the core readings. Despite everyone having different topics, which of course would result in different forms or research, we all have gathered information that will better argue our claims. In terms of comparison we all have the fundamental groundwork of how we want our papers to build. Each student has found sources that will act like scaffolding to help them construct a validated claim.





Investigators Assemble!

  1. Le Gathering:  When searching the internet and extended databases; tags I used included the following: Surveillance, monitoring, internet, web browser, privacy, anonymity, data, darknet, “dark web”, Tor, and alternative. These I decided were all pretty cut and dry search criteria that would lead me towards articles or sources with relevant information. Seeing how i’m researching how the popularity of the dark web may increase due to surveillance, anything pertaining to beneficial uses of the darknet would help me argue my claim. I figured finding current popular uses of the dark web would be a good starting point.
  2. Le Planning:  Thus far my sources all point towards uses of dark nets (multiple per source) which vary depending on the author. This ranges from avoiding national/international jurisdiction to anonymous socialization and discussions. However, not everyone may have reason to avoid the law and may just want to check the weather, or do some research with privacy. Since 2013, when internet surveillance was brought to public eyes, private browsers such as Tor and dark web usage has increased. It already takes up considerably more memory than the surface web you and I know. With the knowledge of public monitoring, entities such as the darkweb may become the new tool of the average citizen, in order to have reassurance in the safety of your personal data and privacy.
  3. Le Advising: Licklider, I believe would be pleased with the idea of anonymity and reassurance of the mind that is given with Tor and the darknet. Seeing how it would only be a convenience to the human intellect, for example: you wouldn’t have to stress over being hacked via IP address, or having your camera accessed by another person, perhaps you’re a reporter with sensitive information, you wouldn’t need to fret (as much) about the traceability of your conversations or exposure of sensitive information. There are less steps, less complication and less intellectual burden for you to focus on more important tasks. Bush I don’t think would be happy with the idea of hidden or concealed information which related to conflict and distrust. He would like to envision something more peaceful and innocent. Engelbart I think would be interested in the functionings of private nets, depending on the type, because he helped create something similar. Infact, most darknets are a cousin of what Doug first invented so many years ago. But on the other hand, if he would have been “disappointed” by what the internet currently was, he may be horrified by some of what the darknet contains. (Unfortunately in the end, the use of this tool is dependant on it’s wielder)
  4. Le mission: In the end my claim is going to have to do with the uses of the darknet and it’s future. Whether I decide to classify my use of “darknet” as personal nets, the mass of unregistered websites, or by the use or browsers like Tor, I do not know. But I do know what i will be discussing: what it is, why we should know about it, its uses, and its popularity trends. With a mixture of those parameters I believe the future of the darkent should be foreseeable.

Research reflection

Thus far, both sources I have posted about involve political safe haven(by which i mean you are able to remain hidden while spurring an uprise; for example) , and information “smuggling” by media and hackers alike. As someone who’s “for the people” for lack of better terms. I like when to know what’s going on in the world around me. When scandals, cover ups, etc. are exposed I feel more informed and both this knowledge, and realization of people’s deceitfulness attribute to my world views. When information of something is bing hidden, I feel deprived intellectually for not being allowed to analyze these actions for myself.

This could just be a small point, just one of many, I could derive from either of the previously mentioned sources.

I don’t think my question has quite change in meaning. However, I do seem to change wording a lot.. I should write it down somewhere again.

I’ve been interested in dark webs since I found out about their existence via a Youtube video a month or so ago. Since then i’ve been binging on anything I can find that provides actual intellectual value and non-bogus information about it. I found it interesting, as someone who is always connected to the internet, that this whole new entity was hidden right under my nose the whole time.

Next, I will probably look for my scholarly journals, possibly some mainly pertaining to the web browsers used to access dark nets.

Reflection on research

What do you notice about how other projects are forming so far?

Thus far i’ve noticed most of my peers have found credible sources that have information relevant to their topics.

How do you see you project forming alongside your peers?

My project, amongst those of my peers seems on a similar track. We are still gathering sources and information at this point.

Link out to at least three of your peers’ posts (at least two outside of your class section)  and explain how you work so far compares/connects in any way.

[blog 1] In Allyson’s nugget she takes a quote anr in turn describes how this quote from a source will by useful to her topic. I also choose to follow this model for my connecting nugget.

[blog 2] Again in a very similar composition to Allyson’s nugget and my own, this author took an excerpt out of their source and explains its usefulness to their topic. This could relate to my topic because it pertains to social media which in turn related to the gathering a personal data.

[Blog 3] This author’s topic had to deal with the freedom of speech, just like mine has to to partially with the right to privacy.  Seeing how they author explained how they were going to achieve an unbiased opinion in their paper made me realize the way my paper was set up in my head was extremely biased. I may take a pointer from this author and argue counterclaims to my topic, like if surveillance is really at the prominent to the average person.

COnnecting Nugget

Kyle Terry, a software engineer, likes to have his privacy while browsing the web. He states that people deserve to feel free to research whatever they want without having to feel “guilty” or as if they are being watched over the internet. Kyle goes on to explain how the darknet has amassed a bad reputation for proography, drugs and illegal firearms. But this isn’t all that is on the dark web, the bad comes with the good, what’s most important is your anonymity.

Kyle also goes on to say The dark­net was used dur­ing the Arab Spring to orga­nize protests, it’s been used to share infor­ma­tion in China. In Iran, the inter­net is heav­ily cen­sored and mon­i­tored. TOR has been key to keep­ing users anony­mous so that the gov­ern­ment there can’t iden­tify indi­vid­ual tar­gets,” as is documented in this report. This also ties back to Alan Pearce’s points on protected media, journalists and the flow of information via the dark web.

This all ties back into surveillance, and monitoring of the surface web. With people discussing openly the benefits of the dark web and making it pertinent that they are being monitored, having their data and personal information collected over the surface web. I think it’s going to be interesting to see if there is a shift or if the popularity of either of the two web types will undergo any significant change.