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Dark Net (or Darknet) is an umbrella term describing the portions of the Internet purposefully not open to public view or hidden networks whose architecture is superimposed on that of the Internet.[1] "Darknet" is often associated with the encrypted part of the Internet called Tor network where illicit trading takes place such as the infamous online drug bazaar called Silk Road.[2] It is also considered part of the deep web.[3] Anonymous communication between whistle-blowers, journalists and news organisations is facilitated by the "Darknet" Tor network through use of applications including SecureDrop.[4]


The term originally described computers on ARPANET that were hidden, programmed to receive messages but not respond to or acknowledge anything, thus remaining invisible, in the dark.[citation needed]An account detailed how the first online transaction related to drugs transpired in 1971 when students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University traded marijuana using ARPANET accounts in the former's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.[5]

The term has in later usage incorporated services such as the dark web, which is an overlay network that can be accessed only with specific software, configurations, or authorization, often using non-standard communication protocols and ports. Types of dark webs include friend-to-friend networks (usually used for file sharing with a peer-to-peer connection) and privacy networks such as Tor.[6][7] The reciprocal term for an encrypted darknet is clearnet or surface web when referring to content indexable by search engines.[8][9][10]

As of 2015, the term "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, with some commentators recommending the terms be used in distinct fashions.[11][12][13]


"Darknet" was coined in the 1970s to designate networks isolated from ARPANET (the government-founded military/academical network which evolved into the Internet), for security purposes.[14] 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 the presence of the darknet was the primary hindrance to the development of workable digital rights management (DRM) technologies and made copyright infringement inevitable.[15] This paper described "darknet" more generally as any type of parallel network that is encrypted or requires a specific protocol to allow a user to connect to it.[1]


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.[16] Subsequently, in 2014, journalist Jamie Bartlett in his book The Dark Net used the term to describe a range of underground and emergent subcultures, including camgirls, cryptoanarchists, darknet drug markets, self harm communities, social media racists, and transhumanists.[17]

Telegram because of its features with encryption and after the ban on the territory of different countries, also belongs to the darknet.[18] It is because of the anonymity that it contains encrypted channels for the sale of prohibited substances, recruiting various organizations and coordinating anti-government actions.[19]


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 the average number of Tor users per day between August 2012 and July 2013.

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See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Gayard, Laurent (2018). Darknet: Geopolitics and Uses. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. p. 158. ISBN 9781786302021.
  2. ^ Martin, James (2014). Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 2. ISBN 9781349485666.
  3. ^ Senker, Cath (2016-09-12). Cybercrime & the Dark Net: Revealing the hidden underworld of the internet. London: Arcturus Publishing. ISBN 9781784285555.
  4. ^ Press Foundation, Freedom of the. "SecureDrop". github. Freedom of the Press Foundation. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  5. ^ Brown Sr., Michael; Hersey, Leigh (2018). Returning to Interpersonal Dialogue and Understanding Human Communication in the Digital Age. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. p. 6. ISBN 9781522541684.
  6. ^ Wood, Jessica (2010). "The Darknet: A Digital Copyright Revolution" (PDF). Richmond Journal of Law and Technology. 16 (4): 15–17. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  7. ^ Mansfield-Devine, Steve (December 2009). "Darknets". Computer Fraud & Security. 2009 (12): 4–6. doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(09)70150-2.
  8. ^ Miller, Tessa (10 January 2014). "How Can I Stay Anonymous with Tor?". Life Hacker. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  9. ^ Roger, Jolly. "Clearnet vs Hidden Services – Why You Should Be Careful". Jolly Roger’s Security Guide for Beginners. DeepDotWeb. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  10. ^ Barratt, Monica (15 January 2015). "A Discussion About Dark Net Terminology". Drugs, Internet, Society. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Clearing Up Confusion – Deep Web vs. Dark Web". BrightPlanet.
  12. ^ NPR Staff (25 May 2014). "Going Dark: The Internet Behind The Internet". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  13. ^ Greenberg, Andy (19 November 2014). "Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Dark Web?". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Om Darknet". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Lasica, J. D. (2005). Darknets: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-68334-5.
  17. ^ Ian, Burrell (28 August 2014). "The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld by Jamie Bartlett, book review". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  18. ^ netstalkers (2017-09-07). "ДАРКНЕТ ПЕРЕЕХАЛ В ТЕЛЕГРАМ [netstalkers]". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  19. ^ "Опасный Telegram: закрытость мессенждера на руку террористам и наркоторговцам". Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  20. ^ Taylor, Harriet (19 May 2016). "Hit men, drugs and malicious teens: the darknet is going mainstream".
  21. ^ "Who uses Tor?". Tor Project. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Young Hyun Kwon (20 May 2015). "Riffle: An Efficient Communication System with Strong Anonymity" (PDF). Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  25. ^ Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office (11 July 2016). "How to stay anonymous online". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Anticounterfeiting on the Dark Web – Distinctions between the Surface Web, Dark Web and Deep Web" (PDF). 13 April 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.

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