Since first being discovered in 2006, the dark web has eluded the public with lies and secrecy, maintaining an existence of deception, fraud, and countless illegal activities and services. The dark web has a full range of illegal content, including gambling, guns, murder-for-hire services, child abuse, child pornography, hacking services, counterfeit activities, bitcoin scams, informational leaks, and guns. This list is rather enormous and almost impossible to trace.
And, most recently, it has.
The good news came in a short article posted online by Newsweek in early February, stating that “more than 10,000 websites on the dark web were knocked offline.” An Anonymous hacker decided to target an internet provider called “Freedom Hosting II for allegedly hosting child pornography.”
Is there some morality in this hacking? Yes, there’s moral intention here, because there’s many out there who want to defend and protect young children from the far reaches of pornography, and to further halt the humiliation of human beings. The Anonymous group is one who tries to defend people’s rights and liberties through hacking activities and denial of service (DOS) errors on websites. It’s their group’s mission to convey the truth to the world—even if that means blocking immoral content.
How does this relate to human trafficking, though? It’s interesting to note that, with all this dark web activity on the rise, human trafficking cases have doubled from 3,000 in 2012 to 7,500 in 2016. People are being sold, abused, and tortured on a daily basis. The dark web is responsible for these behaviors and actions. The rest of the world doesn’t realize the full extent of the problem. Let’s put it into layman’s terms: “human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.” In other words, it’s a modern-day fraudulent business that happens to be digital and profitable.
Hacking is frowned by experts. But this hack might do some good. By taking down some of the dark web, you alter the fraudulent services of human trafficking and child pornography, limiting these websites from having no Internet access to sell these services to other potential buyers. Even though the interruption will be limited in time, it proves the point that even the dark web is vulnerable to attack.
One strange observation should be noted here: it seems that the longer the Internet has been in service, the longer this list of illegal activities seems to have grown. Business is growing and expanding on both sides of the Internet. In fact, since 2006, it’s estimated that over 10,000 websites contain all of the world’s most illegal content. That’s a lot of daily business activity that’s not being monitored or abolished or observed by government agencies; that’s a lot of business that goes under the radar of statistics, studies, and national polling numbers. Therefore, nobody can really indicate, unanimously and unequivocally, the depths of this abuse on society’s morality side.
It’s also apparent that the secretive and anonymous nature of the Internet helps to hide the real face of its business intent. With over 1 billion secured websites in the world, there’s very few chances that one person will ever visit them all. If you break down the numbers, here’s what you get: only 4% (or 40 million websites) have legal content. This leaves more than 96% (or 960 million websites) having illegal content. You do have to give or take that many websites are on “lock down” or “have been disabled” or “don’t have any content.” It’s almost virtually impossible to state, year by year, the final number of websites that exist in the world.
Even so, there’s always two sides to every story. This is one of them.
Feel like hackers are moving into your living room? Read this to escape: Ordinary Reflections