How Big A Threat Is The Deep Web?

-By Paul A Philips

Over 1.6 billion people surf the internet each day using conventional search engines such as Yahoo and Google. The majority of these people, those only using conventional search engines, surf just a fraction of the internet’s total available information. The remaining untouched information has been called the ‘Deep Web.’

Accessed through using unconventional search engines and web browsers, in anonymity while untraceable, the Deep Web does indeed have dark implications:

Without the need for accountability it has become a breeding ground for criminal activity involving the selling of illegal weapons, illicit drugs and extreme violence…  Disturbingly, the Guardian claims that pedophilia related material contributes to around 80% of the Deep Web internet.

 It may well come as no surprise that some activity has been deemed a threat to national security. For example, it may be used for extremist terrorist groups to communicate in anonymity, allowing them to plot their next attack…

Successful vendors of the Deep Web include ‘Silk Road.’ Founded in early 2011 it became a thriving black market bazaar for illegal drugs, generating well over $1 billion in revenue.  It has been said that half-a-dozen people had overdosed and died through drugs sold on Silk Road. Consequentially, 2 years later, Silk Road was seized and shut down by the FBI.

However, Silk Road’s demise has not stopped other similar Deep Websites from forming to meet the high demand for illicit drugs and other illegal sales…

On the subject of weapons, if someone doesn’t want to obtain and use an illegal firearm then they could always employ a hit man advertised on the Deep Web to carry out the murder, if that’ s the intention. Reports say that prices range from $10,000 – $200,000 (depending on the victim’s status) to get the job done.

Another illegal activity is the selling of personal information.  Thus, the Deep Web has gained further bad reputation through becoming a hub for financial fraud. Details of stolen personal credit card details have been given out online, sold at a starting price for as little as for example $10…  Forbes reports that this fraud has cost US merchants $190 billion a year.

During the years 2013-2015 a number of Chinese cyber criminals managed to hack into the USA. The criminals managed to steal vital corporate and governmental information, having breached the security of millions of citizens through the Deep Web…

-The covert black market nature of the Deep Web makes it virtually impossible to implement regulation for clampdown. Criminals suddenly finding a Deep Website shut down by law enforcers will only transfer their illegal online trading to another one of the countless others in existence.

Said to be something like 500 times bigger than the conventional internet the Deep Web is potentially a massive threat not only to national security, but it also increasingly endangers our children from those affected by the growing online pedophilia, while adult health is at risk through drug addiction…

Not all websites on the Deep Web are potentially harmful. Some mainstream websites are created there for content development; to see how websites will fair before going live. The Deep Web also allows freedom of expression for those ruled unfairly under a brutal political regime by avoiding censorship.

However, to summarize, well above all, the Deep Web is a proliferating black market bazaar and has created circumstances where laws put in place to protect us can be bypassed, making it indeed a massive threat.