CfDS: How Much Do We Know About the Dark Web?

Yogyakarta, 30 August 2019—The internet greatly helps us in providing the necessary information daily, but the internet also has its rather illicit side, known as the dark web. The dark web was the main focus of the Center for Digital Society’s (CfDS) 15th edition of Digital Future Discussion (Difussion), entitled “Dark Web: What Should We Know About It?” on Thursday at Antologi Collaborative Space. This event featured three researchers from CfDS.

The first speaker, Felice Valeria, focused on political activism in the dark web. The dark web provides anonymity, which can be useful for political activists. Different governments have different stances in regard to the dark web. In China, the dark web is banned, while it is not in the United States. “For sensitive issues, the dark web can greatly facilitate activists, as activists can organize their underground movements. We can use the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States as an example,” Felice stated. In Indonesia, criminal activities, pornography and human trafficking activities can be found in the dark web.

Afterwards, the next speaker, Ariq Dmitri, focused on the threat of cybercrime on the dark web. “The word “dark” in dark web can refer to the illicit activities that exist in the dark web. Furthermore, transactions in the dark web tend to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin provides anonymity, but its price is rather volatile,” Ariq stated. He also showcased the data regarding the activities conducted on the dark web.

The last speaker, Theodore Great, conveyed that some governments are worried about the dark web due to its anonymous nature. When the FBI closed the Silk Road, a marketplace for mostly illegal goods in the dark web, Silk Road 2.0 emerged shortly afterwards.

At the question-and-answer session, the audience believed that governing the surface web is already difficult, let alone dark web. However, regulating it is important, since numerous illicit activities take place in the dark web. Hence, up-to-date regulations are required to combat illicit activities on the dark web.