So you want to go to the Darknets huh?
I recently asked people on Twitter what they would like to see me write about here for a new post and the majority of people came back with something around the Darknets. So I am bowing to all those calls and I now present to you a post on THE DARKNETS! How to get there, what to see, and how not to get yourself into a shitload of trouble…
Well, I can’t vouch on that last one though…
I suppose though I should back up a bit and explain to some of you out there just what the darknet is. The darknet is actually just a sub-basement of the Internet that is comprised of systems on the regular internet that have a separate gateway to get to them and an infrastructure that is separate from the internet proper. Simply put, the basement analogy is really apropos due to two things. First, the connection to it is rather like taking a creaky and rickety old staircase into a dark basement in an abandoned building. Second is what you find once you are in that dark and creepy basement often times are things you want to never see again yet you cannot un-see.
So take care gentle reader for if you decide to follow me into the dank world of the DARKNETS you may encounter things that you might never recover from. Alternatively you could just laugh and laugh and laugh as you see some of these sites out there offering snake oil and drugs. Hey, maybe you can buy snake oil as a drug! Oh and yeah one more thing. If you decide to go anywhere near the child porn I will personally hunt you down and make you disappear into federal custody.
Do you know the way to the Darknets?
Do you know the way to the DARKNET? Well obviously if you are looking at this blog post you don’t. That is unless you want a good giggle. Anyway, the darknet can be reached pretty dang easily today and you have a few choices on how to get there as well as varying versions of networks to choose from. The best way though for the casual observer would be to go to the Googles and just type in TOR BROWSER DOWNLOAD
You download the file for your system (one hopes it’s a Linux or UNIX system.. Or maybe even that MAC crap) and then install it. Once installed you RUN it. It’s really that simple. Of course if you are in Linux you unzip, save it to a directory, then run it (run as program not as a txt file thank you very much!) which will start the version of Firefox fr you that is already pre-configured to proxy to TOR.
Guess what.. If you have done this then you are able to get to the DARKNETS! Now you just need to find some links like to The Hidden Wiki (the first layer of 7 levels of DARKNET HELL! *waves at Dante*) This site was recently taken control of by the inimitable DOXBIN because of the amount of paedo links that it was allowing to fester. This is just one place where you can get links to the DARKNET sites out there though. You can in fact use the TOR SEARCH or something like that but the best way I have found of late is just to hit up Pastebin.
There you have it.. By doing some simple points and clicks and then using your frontal cortex a bit you too can be on the DARKNETS with the rest of us. Come on in! The water is… Well.. Scummy but it’s at least warm from all the kids peeing in the pool!
TOR vs. i2p:
Now some old timers may tell you that the TOR is full of Feds and that you need to just go straight for i2p for your DARKNET binges. I for one would tell you that this is a falsehood because i2p is FUCKING SLOW AS ALL SHIT. However, it is an option if you aren’t in a hurry to see anything and you want to see different content than what you may map out on the TOR DARKNET.
Another word of warning on the i2p front is that you have to be a bit more savvy than the usual user to make this one work for you and to correctly manage and configure your system because YOU are also a router within the arcology when you get on i2p. You can of course change that and secure the system more so that you aren’t going to be pwned but you have to keep this in mind before you just go download and run it.
On the other end of the spectrum you can also go download the full TOR node setup and make youself a page or you can just use it to access the net in a configuration of your choice (secure one would hope) instead of the pre-configured browser bundle. If you choose to do this just make sure you understand what you are doing and do keep an eye on the versions out there. TOR seems to be a target for security flaw hunting by the likes of the NSA so ya know, you kinda have to be careful if you are out there doing things you perhaps shouldn’t be on an un-secured version.
Personally I use all of the above but as you might have guessed from above, I find the idea of all the caching on i2p to be rather tedious so I don’t go there often. You can in fact find gateways to both DARKNETS if you GOOGLE for them. These are gateways that allow you to enter by using the CLEARNET (i.e. internet) as the gateway with a node handling all the routing for you. I don’t know about their security but let’s put it this way; people can see your traffic in the clearnet so… Yeah…
Abandon hope all ye who enter here…
Ok so now you know how to get the software, what to click and where to get links. Now comes the abandonment of hope. See once you get inside the darknet and you start looking around you realize just how much of it is lame, how much of it is illegal, and how much more of it seems to be rather puerile. I have spent hours, aw hell, let’s say days in there looking around. I have laughed, I have cried, and it changed my life like “Cats” the musical. The gist here is prepare yourself for an experience that may just leave you slumped in your seat saying “Is that it?”
Alternatively you might be able to find new and interesting sites that no one really knows about (if you do please tell me!) such as a nice site on furry on furry cosplay sheise movies. Who really knows what you will find. Take a stroll around and see what you see. Mostly though I think you will find that unless you start messing about with the technology deeply, you will just see the same things everyone else does.
I for one have begun looking at the intracacies of things like transient sites and covert url exchanges but that’s just me. You might want to do other things. All of these things though usually are shall we say more exotic in nature to begin with and mostly considered illegal and this is why they are in the DARKNET to start. They think that it’s all anonymous and that you can then not only access the DARKNET but the internet without leaving a digital trail. This of course has been shown to be wrong.
This brings me to the arcology of the DARKNET and security. There are ways that you can in fact be tracked by wily people who can poison the network with their own nodes or be sniffing their exit data. In one case it has been posited that the whole of the onion router system could be cracked by the use of nodes under the control of a determined adversary.
This is an interesting idea as are all of the others out there on how to de-obfuscate users on the DARKNET. Be aware that the NSA is more than likely working on this if not already there and monitoring traffic. Why aren’t more people being arrested then you ask? Well, then how would they get the really bad guys if they tipped their hand huh? Cracking the DARKNET would be a HUGE thing and a real tipping of the scales were it to get out in the open. Is it happening now? I am not sure but what I am sure of is that they are trying very very hard to make it happen at the very least.
So gentle reader go forth, get the software, secure it as best you can and then wade into the DARKNET! Remember, the water is warm because of all the pee.. And remember too that; “We are the reason we can’t have nice things”