The internet we have all come to know and depend on is just a thin veil that covers a morally perplexing cyber world, aptly named “The Darknet“. The Darknet is a place where rules don’t apply, privacy is everything, and the dregs of society run wild. You can’t access the darknet with a regular browser, like Chrome or Firefox; instead, you need a special browser called TOR.
An acronym for “The Onion Router,” TOR is a free open sourced network that uses a complex encryption system that allows users to surf the web with complete anonymity. By using the TOR browser, you will gain entrance to what is virtually a libertarian’s wet dream: uninhibited free speech, pornography of all varieties, and access to every drug imaginable. After spending some time on the network, I’ve decided to share some of the interesting and disturbing content I’ve come across.
Number Eight: Pro-Suicide and Anorexia Forums. Pro-Suicide and Anorexia forums are places where people who suffer from depression or eating disorders go to socialize with like minded individuals. It is sort of like going to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting where people are encouraged to imbibe bottles of Jack Daniels. On these forums, users exchange ideas and methods for committing suicide, and/or starving oneself. On pro-anorexia forums people are extolled for going days without eating; while on suicide forums, people are told to embrace their suicidal thoughts, and can also find people with whom to participate in suicide pacts with.
The thought of people coming together for the purpose of lauding actions deemed abject by society may be off-putting to most; however, it is worth noting that many people find these forums cathartic. These websites are places where people can speak openly and freely about their perverse thoughts and/or actions, and just having the opportunity to speak about their afflictions allows them to exercise their demons, and completely purge their abject predilections.
Number Seven: The Search Engine. The Onion Network’s search engine, Grams, maybe visually similar to the world’s most popular search engine, but it accesses parts of the web Google wouldn’t dare to touch. Grams directs users to websites where the sale and purchase of drugs are permitted, and pornography of all forms is widely distributed. The search results page epitomizes the phrase “morally perplexing”: just one look at the trending topics and you will find links to everything from organically grown cocaine, to rape videos.
Number Six: Lots and Lots of Drugs. The Darknet is a great place to procure top grade narcotics. Web sites like Silk Road offer drugs of all varieties: weed, cocaine, organically grown cocaine, meth, ecstasy, LSD, and just about any drug your mind can conjure up. Silk Road and websites of a similar ilk are set up just like your average e-commerce website. There are categories, links to other products, customer reviews, and seller ratings. Yup, you read that correctly. Just like Amazon, eBay, and every other online retailer, there are customer reviews and seller ratings.
In fact, the reviews and ratings are instrumental to the success of the Darknet’s drug markets because since you can’t see or track down the people you are interacting with it’s easy for a scam artist to run off with someone’s cash, or for a seller to not sell what they advertise. The customer reviews and seller ratings let aspiring narcotic consumers know if the person they are buying from can be trusted. In addition, it lets them know that the seller has some of that good loud – that loud that could make a user go tone deaf with one hit. For those not familiar with urban colloquiums, loud is a term used to describe highly potent marijuana.
Number Five: A Guy Who Will Steal Anything. For the right price, you can find people who will steal anything you request. Emphasis on anything. Cars, shoes, cameras, mints, belt buckles and any other arbitrary object you can think of is up for grabs. If you ask for it, they will steal it. Some people even go to great lengths to prove they actually stole the item by streaming videos of themselves breaking into homes and swiping the requested merchandise.
Number Four: Stolen Uber Accounts. For the price of one dollar, you can purchase an Uber account and be chauffeured to your destination on someone else’s dime. In addition to Uber accounts, you can also find stolen Netflix accounts, passport photos, and credit card numbers.
Number Three: Hackers for Hire. Need access to classified information? Know someone who’s life you would like to ruin? Then hire a hacker on the Darknet. For the right price, you can have a professional bypass computer security and orchestrate all kinds of bedlam. Hacking is a great way to destroy your enemies; just look at the carnage which ensued during the aftermath of the Ashley Madison scandal.
If you’re looking to impose more damage than a hacked computer can inflict, don’t fret because you can also hire an assassin. For the right price you can get rid of all your enemies… permanently!
Number Two: Holiday Specials on Guns, Drugs, And Other Things. As I alluded to earlier, the eCommerce websites on the Darknet are very similar to the ones you find on the regular internet, except on Darknet websites you can buy drugs, guns, and uranium. Paraphernalia aside, Darknet websites offers some great holiday discounts. You can get 50% off meth, 8 balls of cocaine for 20% off, 30mg of Adderall for only $300.00, Cuban cigars for $300.00 off, 50% discounts on stolen credit cards, and 40% off liquid mushrooms and LSD. These are great savings – you know – if you are Christmas shopping for a drug addled fraudster.
Number One: Pornography. I know what you’re thinking: you can find pornography on the regular internet. This is true; however, the type of pornography you find on the Darknet is heinous, malicious, and outright cruel. Child pornography of all forms is prevalent, rape videos are a hot commodity, and there is an audience for what is known as crush porn: videos that feature animals being brutally murdered, often in a sexual manner. The abundance of abject pornography is one of the worst aspects of anonymous web browsing because it allows people to abuse and exploit children behind a cryptic veil that is extremely difficult to remove.