The Deep Web


The Deep Web, unbeknownst to many, is home to many highly illegal and disturbing websites.

Nicolas Schmidt, Staff Writer

As you drift through the seemingly endless web addresses that google provides, you do not realize that you are really just at the tip of an iceberg. The part of the World Wide Web (WWW) that gets indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other browsers has been estimated to be about 5 percent of the entire internet. This is your day-to-day web; here lie Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia. The rest of the web – the other 95 percent – is filled with a large variety of strange websites, including the largest black market in the world.

A special search engine is needed to access the so called “deep web,” since it can not be found using normal browsers. To find websites in the deep web, you need to have their exact URLs, which can be tedious given their lengths. Fortunately, there is a website on the deep web called The Hidden Wiki which conveniently shows many links for various websites. However, the deep web is a dark place, and shouldn’t be messed around with. Some of the content on it is only for those with the strongest stomachs and really should not be looked at.

One of the more well known sites is called SilkRoad. It is an online market where users can purchase any drug they may desire. This activity is highly illegal, and users who are caught face serious jail time. SilkRoad has been shut down many times in the past but always manages to pop back up again. There is also an “Apple Store,” which sells Apple products, most likely stolen ones, for extremely low prices. To top it off, you can buy weapons, counterfeit money, passports, driver’s licenses, etc. All of the sites above are made to look professional, like Amazon or eBay, as if it were normal to sell all of these highly illegal items.

Pullquote Photo

It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie. I wouldn’t want to run into it while searching the web.”

— freshman Carolina Alvarez

At this point, you might be wondering how people pay for all these items. The answer is simple: bitcoin. Bitcoin is simply a digital cryptocurrency that is not tracked by any bank. This makes bitcoin users anonymous, ultimately allowing them to buy any illegal thing on the deep web. This is why the users of SilkRoad and other sites don’t usually get caught.

All of these highly illegal aspects of the deep web make it hard to believe that it has any real positive benefit, but surprisingly, it has some redeeming qualities. Browsing the deep web is completely anonymous, which is good for paranoid users that do not want the government tracking their every move online. The deep web also exposes government information that the public has a right to know about. Many reporters have been known to use the deep web to gather research for their articles.

“I think the pros to the deep web are that there is no invasion of privacy and you can do more or less whatever you want and I think that the cons to the deep web are that since it’s not monitored, a lot of illegal activity goes on,” freshman Julius Telleria said.

The next time that you are cruising around in Google’s websites, just remember you are only scratching the surface of the WWW. Many users are clueless as to the darker side to the internet. To many, the deep web is the largest black market, where you can buy anything you can imagine, illegal or otherwise. However, if you ever feel like you are constantly being watched by the government, then it can be a good place for you as you can do many things without being tracked. Just remember never to go shopping on the deep web or to explore into the deeper, disturbing parts of the deep web – you’ll regret it if you do.