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A fascinating tour through the dark net. This is shown by author and researcher Jamie Bartlett. He shows both the dark and the creative side of the digital underworld. For his book Dark Net, Bartlett spoke to programmers, nationalists and people who bully online.

When the news comes that a child pornography network has been taken offline, chances are that the dark just played a major role in this. That is the dark version of the world wide web. You surf around anonymously. That is what makes it so attractive to criminals, including the distributors of child pornography. In addition, there is a lot of drug and arms trafficking. For example, in marketplaces for criminals, which are very similar to eBay or Marktplaats.

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At least that is the well-known image of dark net. But is that correct? Researcher Jamie Bartlett decided not only to talk about it, but to actually dive into the dark. He bought there and spoke to programmers, nationalists and child pornography viewers. Bartlett is a journalist and researcher at the University of Sussex as director of the Center for the Analysis of Social Media.

 

His book Dark Net provides a very varied picture. Yes, there is a lot going on that cannot go through the braces. But the dark net is much more than just the illegal practices that take place there. “The dark net breeds breathtaking creativity. Most of the sites I visited were amazingly adaptive and innovative, ”Bartlett writes. An interesting example is the marketplace SilkRoad 2.0, the successor to SilkRoad that was taken offline by the FBI. It is a popular place to buy or sell , among other things.

But just to think of it as a criminal website is shortsighted according to Bartlett. “SilkRoad 2.0 is one of the most flexible, dynamic and consumer-friendly markets I’ve ever seen.” In short, many companies on the “normal internet” could learn from SilkRoad. That’s a fresh take on dark net. For example, in many marketplaces, consumers and website owners work together to expose scammers at lightning speed. Moreover, the encryption is often of a high level.

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Bartlett doesn’t close his eyes to the dark sides for a moment. For example, he performs a convicted kink porn viewer. He also pays a lot of attention to racists and a girl who became addicted to pro-anorexia sites. That Bartlett gives them the floor and reflects their motives makes this book interesting. He just gives some of the visitors to the dark a face. However lurid, strange or that may seem at first sight. With the exception of the child pornography viewer, all people in the book actually generate some kind of sympathy. As Bartlett himself writes, it is striking that he does not find many abnormal people on the dark net.  Mrbitcoinexchange.com for more information.

But there are also small negatives. Part of the book is actually not about the dark net, where you surf anonymously and end up via the Tor network. Bartlett, for example, writes extensively about trolling – online bullying. He shows how tacky it is and even visits some trollers. The researcher describes how they make life miserable on the dark, but also harass others on well-known social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In his book he regularly takes steps like this outside the dark net. But he does not always indicate it clearly.

Furthermore, almost everything is good about this book. Bartlett just shows the versatility of dark: the jet black, destructive and the creative side. Because the programmers regularly deliver excellent work, such as the developers of (applications for) bitcoins. With that payment system, a central bank is no longer needed. Technically it is very cleverly made. Bartlett also shows the human side of dark net and aptly calls it a world of “power and freedom”. Many idealists are working hard on a (according to them) more beautiful world. Bartlett wrote a nice introduction about it. Everyone who wants to know more about dark net should read this book.