The dark web charms up opinions of criminal activity. Though there are undeniably unsavory characters leveraging the darknet for illegal quests, there are also good uses of the “hidden internet.”
According to reports from Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics provider, above $600 million worth of bitcoin (BTC) was progressed to the darknet market in Q4 of 2019. Though, the darknet still works for less than 1% of all BTC transactions.
This article will highlight the bright side of the dark web and discuss instances where it has played a role in making positive change.
This article will focus on the bright side of the dark web and provide occurrences where it has engaged in making an optimistic modification.
Whistleblowers are supported
For the past decade, numerous prominent whistleblowers have exposed criminal activities by governments, such as infiltration on their citizens. Whistleblowers typically participate in revealing governments’ crimes and in doing this, putting their lives at a massive risk.
State, for example, way back June 2013, The Guardian circulated a shocking commentary divulging that the American government, with the help of the National Security Agency (NSA), had been eavesdropping on their citizens gaining access to each one’s data especially the phone calls. During that time, the information was stated that it was from an anonymous informer. Edward Snowden, a former government contractor, still, eventually denied himself as the basis of the disclosure.
To share the information with the public, Snowden reached out to a journalist, Laura Poitras. She credits an ill-famed dark web browser, named Tor for it being one of the main tools that made the entire endeavor possible. She stated in a Reddit post:
“It would have been impossible for us to work on the NSA stories and make “Citizenfour” without many encryption tools that allowed us to communicate more securely. In fact, in the credits, we thank several free software projects for making it all possible. It’s definitely important that we support these tools so the creators can make them easier to use. They are incredibly underfunded for how important they are. You can donate to Tails, Tor and a few other projects at the Freedom of the Press Foundation.”
Moreover, in 2015, President Obama signed up an Executive Order banning donations to societies or parties that can disturb national security. The Order’s loose wording has led to beliefs that it only applies to whistleblowers like Snowden.
Because of this, people responded by donating to ‘The Snowden Defense Fund’; this program exceeded the amount previously contributed to the fund almost the same time. Another funding that accepts donations in bitcoin and anonymous submissions is WikiLeaks; they only take aids over Tor.
Repressive Regimes Resisted
Aside from the dark web being reflected as a playground for shadowy figure trading illegal wares, the University of Surrey research paper discovered that only 60% of websites on the dark web were unlawful.
Some law-abiding citizens who want to protect their privacy are the ones who utilize the rest of the dark web. This is mainly a fact in the case of citizens living in repressive regimes where they practice significant censorship. By throttling the bandwidth or graver blanket website constraints and obstructions, the Totalitarian regimes can stereotypically limit the citizens’ access to the internet.
The executive director of US e-rights campaign group EFF, Cindy Cohn, explained the relationship between legitimate sites using dark web mirrors and censorship resistance stating:
Accessed through Tor, the dark web can be invaluable for those seeking to go against repressive regimes and conspiracies. In an instance, the grassroots labors leading to the Tor browser’s assumption in Mauritania has led to the government deserting the straining of websites in 2005.
Furthermore, citizens of Venezuela used Tor to communicate when their government started imposing internet restrictions. On the other hand, some citizens could control their access to crypto to evade themselves from the increase, keep the worth of their assets, and arrange for more liquidity for themselves as a needed basis. This was possible while the government ultimately barred access to Tor using the state-owned internet service provider.
A recent report fixated on the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic, as Chainalysis noted, the movements in darknet markets and bitcoin price correction have decelerated down.
“Darknet market revenue has fallen much more than we’d expect following bitcoin’s recent major price drop…Perhaps darknet market customers aren’t buying as many drugs given the public health crisis,” as reported by Chainalysis explained.
As businesses worldwide are recording significant dips in revenue, this state of affairs is not unique to darknet marketplaces. Though given the lockdown effective in many areas of the world, people are not going frequently to bars, clubs, festivals, and other social gatherings where drugs are typically consumed. Because of this, people don’t need medicines during this crisis, which makes it one of the largest revenue drivers for the darknet merchants.
Many seem to be upright in solidarity with the rest of the citizens worldwide, despite the fall in profits for darknet vendors. Digital shadows, a cybersecurity firm, divulges that several actors on dark web marketplaces pass information found on the surface web with concerns about staying safe and leveling the curve.
In addition to this, various hackers are declining calls for ideas through which they can exploit the wide-ranging community in the pandemic. Digital Shadow notes: