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A darknet (or dark net) is any "overlay network that can be accessed only with specific software, configurations, or authorization, often using non-standard "communications protocols and "ports. Two typical darknet types are "friend-to-friend[1] networks (usually used for "file sharing with a "peer-to-peer connection)[2] and "privacy networks such as "Tor.

The reciprocal term for an encrypted darknet is "clearnet[3][4][5] or "surface web when referring to search engine indexable content.[6]



As of 2015, "The Darknet" is often used "interchangeably with the "dark web due to the quantity of "hidden services on "Tor's darknet. The term is often inaccurately used interchangeably with the "deep web due to Tor's history as a platform that could not be search-indexed. Mixing uses of both these terms has been described as inaccurate,[7] with some commentators recommending the terms be used in distinct fashions.[8][9]


"Darknet" was coined in the 1970s to designate networks that were isolated from "ARPANET (which evolved into the "Internet), for security purposes.[10] Darknet addresses could receive data from ARPANET but did not appear in the network lists and would not answer "pings or other inquiries.

The term gained public acceptance following publication of "The Darknet and the Future of "Content Distribution", a 2002 paper by "Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman, four employees of "Microsoft who argued that the presence of the darknet was the primary hindrance to the development of workable "digital rights management (DRM) technologies and made "copyright infringement inevitable.[11]


Journalist "J. D. Lasica, in his 2005 book Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation, described the darknet's reach encompassing file sharing networks.[12] Subsequently, in 2014, journalist "Jamie Bartlett in his book The Dark Net used it to describe a range of underground and emergent "subcultures, including "camgirls, "cryptoanarchists, "darknet drug markets, "self harm communities, "social media racists, and "transhumanists.[13]


Darknets in general may be used for various reasons, such as:


All darknets require specific software installed or network configurations made to access them, such as "Tor, which can be accessed via a customised browser from "Vidalia (aka the Tor browser bundle), or alternatively via a "proxy configured to perform the same function.


A "cartogram illustrating Tor usage

No longer supported[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wood, Jessica (2010). "The Darknet: A Digital Copyright Revolution" (PDF). Richmond Journal of Law and Technology. 16 (4): 15–17. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Mansfield-Devine, Steve (December 2009). "Darknets". Computer Fraud & Security. 2009 (12): 4–6. "doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(09)70150-2. 
  3. ^ Miller, Tessa (10 January 2014). "How Can I Stay Anonymous with Tor?". Life Hacker. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Torpey, Kyle (2 December 2014). " Launches Tor Hidden Service". Inside Bitcoins. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Roger, Jolly. "Clearnet vs Hidden Services – Why You Should Be Careful". Jolly Roger’s Security Guide for Beginners. "DeepDotWeb. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Barratt, Monica (15 January 2015). "A Discussion About Dark Net Terminology". Drugs, Internet, Society. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Clearing Up Confusion – Deep Web vs. Dark Web". BrightPlanet. 
  8. ^ NPR Staff (25 May 2014). "Going Dark: The Internet Behind The Internet". Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Greenberg, Andy (19 November 2014). "Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Dark Web?". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Om Darknet". Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  11. ^ Biddle, Peter; England, Paul; Peinado, Marcus; Willman, Bryan (18 November 2002). The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution ("PDF). ACM Workshop on Digital Rights Management. Washington, D.C.: "Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Lasica, J. D. (2005). Darknets: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons. "ISBN "0-471-68334-5. 
  13. ^ Ian, Burrell (28 August 2014). "The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld by Jamie Bartlett, book review". Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Taylor, Harriet (19 May 2016). "Hit men, drugs and malicious teens: the darknet is going mainstream". 
  15. ^ "Who uses Tor?". Tor Project. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  16. ^ Bennett, Krista; Grothoff, Christian; Kügler, Dennis (2003). "Dingledine, Roger, ed. Privacy Enhancing Technologies Third International Workshop (PET 2003). Springer-Verlag (Heidelberg). pp. 141–175. "ISBN "9783540206101. 
  17. ^ Xiang, Yang; Lopez, Javier; Jay Kuo, C.-C.; Zhou, Wanlei, eds. (2012). Cyberspace Safety and Security: 4th International Symposium : Proceedings (CSS 2012). Springer (Heidelberg). pp. 89, 90. "ISBN "9783642353628. 
  18. ^ Young Hyun Kwon (20 May 2015). "Riffle: An Efficient Communication System with Strong Anonymity" (PDF). Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  19. ^ Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office (11 July 2016). "How to stay anonymous online". Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  20. ^ "Anticounterfeiting on the Dark Web – Distinctions between the Surface Web, Dark Web and Deep Web" (PDF). 13 April 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

"" Media related to Darknet at Wikimedia Commons

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