Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The Dark Web Dilemma

adimas/adobe

Credit: adimas/adobe

By Eric Jardine

The dark web can hide the activities of organised crime and child abusers but it can also enable people in repressive regimes to communicate with the wider world.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Imagine you live in a highly repressive regime that closely watches your every move and restricts what you can say and do online. In such a context, trying to engage in public life via a normal internet connection can lead to your abuse, arrest or worse – even at the hands of your own government.

The “dark web” presents an alternative. It can keep you safe from the abuses of governments that want to spy on you, censor what you can say and do online and restrict the very vibrancy of public life that can lead to democratic change.

Imagine instead that you have criminal intent in your heart. Maybe you want to pay a professional to have someone beaten, crippled, raped or murdered. Maybe you want to have someone’s computer hacked, their reputation ruined or their private moments exposed to the world. Maybe you want to buy illegal drugs, guns or view child abuse imagery.

Doing any of these things via a normal internet connection would swiftly bring the long arm of the law down upon you. But the dark web again presents an alternative. It can protect you from the righteous fury of law enforcement, even as they endeavour to keep society safe from abuse, theft, drugs and child molestation.

The dark web is a person’s saving grace in both scenarios.

The dark web is basically a tool that allows people to surf the web anonymously. What motivates...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.