The Deep Web and its Dark Web subset have been in the public eye more than usual in the past few years. Once the things that happen on the hidden part began having an impact on the “real” world, regular Joes and Janes started to take an interest. That doesn’t mean the hidden part of the internet is a recent development. It’s just about as old as the internet itself. The history of the hidden web is almost as old as the history of the internet itself. Obviously, the same technology that made the internet and the web possible also makes the Dark Web possible thanks to its architecture and designs. Which is why it is fair to pin the start of the Dark Web to ARPANET? Which is the direct precursor to the internet of today? While ARPANET may not have had a Dark Web as we know it now from the start, it wouldn’t take long before people started to make use of this technology for things they wanted to keep a secret.
Image Source: medium.com
It turns out that the first-ever online sale happened in the early 70s and was in fact cannabis. Students at Stanford sold weed to students at MIT, using ARPANET. Remember that at this point most people didn’t have personal computers, much less home internet access. The 1990s are without a doubt the time when the World Wide Web went mainstream. Thanks to web technologies like HTTP and FTP along with graphical computers capable of running a web browser, there was a sudden mainstream appeal to this whole internet thing. The most important Dark Web development of all time happened in 2002, with the release of the Onion Router. It was created by non-other than the US government, as a way to help their own operatives remain untraceable. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Dark Web of today could not exist without this technology.
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