Many people confuse the deep web—hidden parts of the internet that aren’t usually indexed by search engines—with darknets, which are niche spaces promising anonymity, often for illegal activities.
People go there to sell and buy drugs, guns, ammunition, security exploits (malware, ransomware) and your hacked data (passwords, credit card numbers and more). Cryptocurrencies have fueled activity in these dark corners of the internet, since they’re encrypted and make tracking transactions nearly impossible.
You can’t just hop on to a darknet and find what you need the way you might Google your high school sweetheart. To access the hidden crime bazaars, you need special software, such as Tor or Freenet, you need to know where you’re headed, and you do need a bit of technical knowledge. It isn’t illegal to take a walk through dark marketplaces, and there’s plenty of good activity that takes place there: whistleblowers hoping to shine a light on wrongdoing, political dissidents looking for asylum and investigative journalists hunting down leads.
As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, we’re likely to see more activity in darknets. Activists with legitimate concerns will advocate for new layers of protection, while law enforcement will receive training on how to navigate the dark web. For government and law enforcement, the challenge of training is staying current—darkets are continuously changing, which means that training can quickly become outdated.
Also problematic: Those who spend the most time on darknets are typically also the ones building them.
This trend is part of our section on Security. Other trends in this section include:
Accountants, Advertising and Public Relations, Aerospace, Agriculture, Airlines, Alternative Energy Production & Services, Architectural Services, Auto Manufacturers, Banking, Bars & Restaurants, Beauty, Beer, Wine and Liquor, Book Publishers, Broadcasters, Radio and TV, Builders/General Contractors, Cable & Satellite TV Production & Distribution, Casinos/Gambling, Chemical & Related Manufacturing, Civil Servants/Public Officials, Clergy & Religious Organizations, Clothing Manufacturing, Commercial TV & Radio Stations, Construction, Corporate Boards & Directors, Covid-19/ coronavirus, CPG, Cruise Ships & Lines, Defense, Diplomacy, Doctors & Other Health Professionals, Drug Manufacturers, Education Colleges & Universities, Education K-12, Education Online, Education Trades, Electric Utilities, Entertainment Industry, Environment, Finance, Foreign & Defense Policy, Gas & Oil, Government - International, Government - National, Government - State and Local, Health Professionals, Heavy Industry, Hedge Funds, Hospitality, Hotels/Motels/Tourism, Human Resources, Information Technology, Infrastructure, Insurance, Law Enforcement, Lawyers/Law Firms/Legal Industry, Lobbyists, Luxury Retail, Magazines, Manufacturing, National Security, News Media, Non-profits/Foundations/Philanthropists, Online Media, Pharmaceuticals/Health Products, Private Equity, Professional Sports, Radio/TV Stations, Real Estate, Retail, Technology Company, Telecommunications, Trade Associations, Transportation, Travel Industry, TV Production, TV/Movies/Music, Urban Planning, Utilities, Venture Capital, Waste Management, Work (Future of)