ESTEEM Center for Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, English & Math



History of The Dark Web

History of the strangest and mysterious part of the web

The earliest form of the modern dark web was created March 2000, when Irish student Ian Clarke developed and released Freenet, which offers anonymous communication online using a deconcentrated network of Freenet’s system. The system that really popularized the dark web was The Onion Router (TOR) made in September of 2002, and launched as a browser in 2008. Tor masks online traffic so no one could see what you are using or doing or who you are. Tor was created by the U.S government’s Naval Research Laboratory, developed for members of the U.S intelligence community to use the Internet without getting caught. The U.S then thought anonymizing software to be used by one intelligence service would be worthless – the U.S government then made it public in 2004 and funded it maintenance through a nonprofit organization named the Tor project.

As hoped, the Tor network grew immensely amongst computer enthusiasts, supporters of privacy, journalists, and others. At the same time, Tor grew to be a big part of illegal activities. The term dark web appeared for the first time in a newspaper in 2009 while describing these activities.

The rise of cryptocurrency greatly improved the dark web’s use in illegal trade. Users could exchange funds online without sharing credit card numbers or other identification methods. In February 2011 Ross Ulbricht founded what we call the first black market. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) later arrested Ulbricht in October of 2013, but many imitators still exist many growing even larger. Additionally, to the forbidden to the traditional forbidden trade the dark web became a hub for stolen information. Credit card and social security numbers are commonly bought from the dark web, also passwords for email accounts sometimes all together. In March 2012 Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin and three other partners stole passwords for almost 120 million email addresses from and then offered this date for sale on the dark web.

As stated many times before, the dark web is very dangerous as it brings many illegal activities while being anonymous. There are many hackers are on the dark web and when you try and open some links or just do the dark web you may get a virus or get hacked by a hacker. The dark web wasn’t made with bad intentions it was made for people to have anonymous communication, but all the hackers, terrorists, and distributors of illegal objects or substances found it out and realized the secure and anonymous communication would be perfect to use for illegal jobs.


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