Union Home Minister Amit Shah while addressing a session on Global Trends in Terrorist Financing and Terrorism’ at ‘No Money for Terror’ Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing in New Delhi, has stressed on the need for coordinated efforts to deal with the challenges posed by the use of dark net and virtual currencies like cryptocurrency by the terrorists.

 

What is ‘dark net’?

  • Dark Net (or Darknet), also known as the dark web, refers to the deep hidden internet platform that is used for narcotics sale, exchange of pornographic content and other illegal activities by using the secret alleys of the onion router (ToR) to stay away from the surveillance of law enforcement agencies.
  • Darknet is the part of the Internet below the private deep web that uses custom software and hidden networks superimposed on the architecture of the Internet.
  • Owing to its end-to-end encryption, darknet is considered very tough to crack when it comes to investigating criminal activities being rendered over it.

 

How it operates?

  • The darkweb operates in secrecy using specialised browsers, that prevent eavesdropping and traffic analysis attacks.
  • It is very tough to penetrate owing to its end-to-end encryption.
  • The access to darknet is possible only through specialised browsers like Tor, Freenet, I2P and Tails to surf the darknet anonymously.
  • Tor (The Onion Router) is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.
  • The privacy-centric browser like Tor routes the web page requests through proxy servers thus making your IP address untraceable.

 

The dark web v/s the deep web

  • Both the dark and deep web share one thing in common: Neither can be found in search engine results.
  • The difference between them primarily lies in how their content is accessed.
    • Deep web pages can be accessed by anyone with a standard web browser who knows the URL.
    • Dark web pages, in contrast, require special software with the correct decryption key, as well as access rights and knowledge of where to find the content.