A Brief History of the Dark Web, The Underworld of Punkism

Easy to have Tai Chi, Yin and Yang said, everything can be divided into two.


The Internet that we average people browse can track the geographic location and the identity of the correspondent, collectively known as the Mingwang.

In contrast, the dark web is an underground world. Server addresses and data transmission are anonymous and can only be authorized by special software. The computer can only be connected to the network after setting.

Recently, 538 million pieces of Weibo data were sold on the dark web, and 172 million pieces had basic account information, such as mobile phone numbers, many of which were star big V. The dark net price of these data was 0.177 bitcoins, which was equivalent to less than RMB 7,500 yuan. Bo responded that the mobile phone number was imported in batches using the address book interface last year, and violently matched millions of accounts and nicknames, without involving sensitive information such as ID cards and passwords.

Illegal data, counterfeit banknotes, drugs, weapons ... There are all kinds of black transactions, compared with the mysteries of the dark net and the dark net, revealing greed, indulgence and frightening atmosphere, most of us know very little about it, I only know that there is an online world that cannot be tracked by search engines.

The cryptocurrency headed by Bitcoin is not subject to market supervision like the dark web. In the underground network, cryptocurrency is a universal transaction model and the largest application market for ICOs. In other words, it was precisely because of the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009 that the dark web became popular in the world.

But the real dark web history is almost as old as the Internet.


In the early days of new technologies, most of the sponsors were the US military.

ARPAnet is the originator of the global Internet. ARPA is the acronym for Advanced Research Project Agency under the US Department of Defense. One of the core organizations under ARPA is the Information Management Office (IPTO), which is mainly responsible for researching computer graphics. , Network communications, supercomputers and other topics, is also the IPTO developed the ARPANET.

The earliest person in charge of the Information Management Department was named JCR Licklider. He joined IPTO in 1962. During his tenure, he sponsored about 70% of the computer science research in the United States at that time. The birth of Arpanet and the graphical interface.

The third successor of the IPTO is named Taylor (Bob Taylor), this person has great significance for the Internet. Joining the IPTO in 1965, Taylor hopes to build a computer network that can connect ARPA-funded university and enterprise laboratory project teams. This is the earliest prototype of APAnet.

In order to connect the LANs of the various project groups together, Taylor invited Larry Roberts, who will become the "father of Apanet" in 1967, to join the IPTO. At the end of 1969, Apanet was successfully put into operation. By 1975, Arpanet finally connected the LANs of most American universities and research laboratories.

During this period, the world's first online transaction took place. A Stanford University student reached a transaction with an MIT student through an APA account. It is slightly ironic that the first ever e-commerce transaction of goods It's drugs.

Taylor later entered the Xerox laboratory (Palo Attu Research Center), and successfully developed Alto (the world ’s first personal computer) in 1973, which included a graphical interface, Ethernet, monitor and a three-button mouse. Jobs.

Jobs visited Xerox Labs in 1979 and was excited after seeing Alto. Jobs recalled, "I saw the future of the computer industry." Since then we are familiar with the story. Apple has launched Apple Lisa and Macintosh one after another, laying the foundation for iMac.

The early APA network actually connected the local area network according to a fixed protocol. At that time, there were many parallel similar networks. Those network nodes that were reluctant or did not have time to access the backbone of the APA network. Connected, these are called Darknet, that is, the darknet, the early darknet and the black market were not connected.


In the 1980s, the data haven rose.

Similar to many domestic gambling black and gray industries today, operators choose to place servers abroad, take advantage of the laws and policies open in other countries, and then steal the beams to change the post, extradite the black and gray industry to domestic users through the Internet, and take advantage of benefits while escaping domestic laws Sanctions and similar public reports have been common.

The situation was similar in the late 1980s in the United States. At that time, the Internet was not yet universal. Personal computer brands such as Apple, IBM, and Commodore came out soon. Various networks around the world have sprung up. People are using applications such as e-mail, BBS, and USEnet. For communication, most connected users are some elite groups.

Many website operators are worried about the security of data storage. At the same time, for different purposes such as tax avoidance and gray operation, a large number of companies have placed servers in some countries with loose laws to avoid being controlled by the government. These data haven sites are considered second Approve the dark web.

It is worth mentioning that the most well-known data haven company was born in 2000, operating in the private country of the Principality of Zealand, which was originally a fortification fortification built on the high seas during World War II in the United Kingdom. It was abandoned after World War II. Roy Bates, a former British retired officer, occupied in 1967 and then distorted international law to declare independence as a country. In August 2000, "Prince Zealand" Michael Bates acquired a British company and changed its name to HavenCo.

HavenCo founder and CEO is Sean Hastings, a typical anarchist. HavenCo received a lot of well-known media reports at the beginning of its establishment. Then in November 2008, it ceased operation without any announcement. . Sean is now also committed to establishing permanent residence on the high seas, with the intention of replicating the Principality of Zealand model.


Rock, hippie, utopia, cyberpunk came one after another in the 60s and 80s in the United States, nurturing an elite group of "cryptopunk" in the 1990s, leaving a deep stroke for the dark web and blockchain.

"Cyberpunk" has created a variety of science fiction novels, well-known "Matrix", "Alita", "Blade Runner", etc., science fiction will form a social trend in the United States, its core claims have been influenced so far It is a mockery and warning of the increasingly blurred boundary between the technological civilization and the real universe.

Under the influence of "cyberpunk", cryptography began to develop rapidly.

Two cryptographers, James Henry Ellis and Clifford Christopher Cocks of the British Government Communications Department (GCHQ), proposed the concept of public key encryption as early as the 1970s, but at that time the government led Not only has this technology not been adopted, it has also been frozen.

In 1976, cryptographers Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman proposed asymmetric encryption technology and published the book "Guide to New Cryptography Technology", which became the cornerstone of future Internet encryption technology.

In the 1990s, the Internet was widely used, and three cryptographers Tim May, Eric Hughes, and John Gilmore formed a group, and they discussed with the company that John founded every month. Various pioneer topics such as cryptography, politics, philosophy, and computer technology.

The number of people in this discussion group was increasing. Later, they encoded an encrypted mail system to allow more technical geeks to communicate anonymously. This mailing list was named by a female member named Jude Milhon. "Cyberpunk". Many of them have a decisive position in the history of Internet development.

The founder Tim May is an Intel scientist, John is the No. 5 veteran of Sun Company, and there are more other heavyweight members. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, World Wide Web inventor Tim (Berners Lee), Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, BT download creator Bram (Bram Cohen), two authors of PCG 1.0 and 2.0 ...

One of the founders, Eric, wrote in the "Password Punk Manifesto" earlier: "We want to have privacy and create a network that allows anonymous transactions. We are committed to building an anonymous system to defend privacy through digital signatures and cryptocurrencies."

The "password punk" anonymous mail system is a new kind of dark web.

"Cyberpunk" reached its peak in 1997, with an average of about 30 emails per day and about 2,000 users, mostly from the professors of the most well-known universities / companies / labs. After September 11th, 2001, people ’s enthusiasm for discussion began Decline, the topic gradually became boring, and soon it was disbanded.

In the same period of "Cryptunk", MP3 technology began to transform the music industry. CD songs can be compressed into MP3 format and then uploaded and downloaded on the Internet. This technology greatly impacted the copyright market of CD music and may also be the earliest "sharing" mode on the Internet.

A MP3 music-sharing website called Napster was sued by Lars Ulrich, founder of the American heavy metal band Metallica, around 2000. The Napster website quickly shut down, but this model began to break out.

People sharing MP3 music via email or other hidden methods also belong to the dark web. The stars have resisted, but users have become accustomed to free songs until they evolve into the current form of streaming media.


The Freenet browser is a milestone in the dark web.

In 1999, Irishman Ian Clarke published a paper at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland called "Decentralized Storage and Retrieval System". This paper was rated only "B", so he decided to release it as open source software in 2000. On the Internet, it was renamed Freenet.

The principle of Freenet is similar to P2P. It is a decentralized web browser. It is different from P2P. Freenet indexes not files but websites in the dark web. It is still popular today. It provides users with anonymous identity protection. Ability to access many dark web sites.

Before the release of Tor, Freenet led the popularity of the darknet. There are many darknet systems of various sizes. Freenet, Tor, and I2P are also called the darknet 3 giants, and the largest of these three is the onion Tor.

In the late 1990s, in order to protect the communication security between American spies, Paul Syverson, an employee of the US Naval Research Laboratory, and two other colleagues, jointly developed an anonymous network. The core technology is Tor, The Onion Router ) Acronym.

On September 20, 2002, under the sponsorship of the Naval Research Laboratory, scientists Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson released the first official version of Tor. In 2004, the Tor code was open sourced by the Naval Research Laboratory, and the American Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) continued to sponsor Roger and Nick.

Roger, Nick and five other members jointly established a non-profit organization Tor Project in December 2006. The core job is to maintain the Tor network. Tor can not only browse the dark web, but also browse regular websites anonymously, which has become a common choice for a large number of users who pay attention to identity privacy.

The dark web before 2010, although there are some illegal transactions, but the situation is not common, and did not cause bad results, Tor browser is more to help ordinary people to obtain privacy protection, the positive meaning is greater than the negative effect, until a name named "Silk The dark web of "The Road" appears.


In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin.

In February 2011, Ross Ulbricht created the first dark web black market "Silk Road" on the Tor network, which was described as the evil version of "eBay". Since then, various types of black transactions have appeared on the dark web. Form our current general impression of the dark web.

In its heyday, the "Silk Road" was the largest drug trading center on the Dark Web, with a monthly GMV ranging from about US $ 15 million to US $ 50 million. The number of users was as high as 1 million, and all transactions were made through Bitcoin. In October 2013, Ross was arrested by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) at the library, and then the "Silk Road" was closed.

It is worth mentioning that due to the anonymity of the dark web and bitcoin, the FBI accused Rose of the dark web and there was no actual evidence. Ross only admitted to creating the "Silk Road", and all others denied it, so Rose ’s entire conviction process is completely In violation of the so-called "presumption of innocence principle" of the US judicial system, Rose was sentenced to life imprisonment only with some unconvincing "digital evidence".

After the "Silk Road", the dark trade in the dark web began to flourish. Tor became a hotbed for a large number of criminals. FBI and other agencies also used various "fishing law enforcement" on the dark web to kill a lot of criminal activities. Continue.

Since the cryptocurrency matured the darknet model, people began to redefine the Internet. The formal websites like the corporate intranet that are blocked by search engines are called the deepnet. They must be opened through browsers such as Tor and Freenet, and have the nature of underground transactions. The website is called the darknet, and the Internet is divided into three layers: the brightnet, the deepnet, and the darknet.

There is no doubt that there must be dark corners in the world that the sun cannot shine on, which is why Marvel / DC heroes are loved by others.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
Copyright of the article belongs to the author, please do not reproduce without permission.

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