An Online Technical Writer’s Guide to the Deep Web

Deep WebThe Web is a sprawling entity, never ending, and full of mysteries. One such mystery is that of the Deep Web, that space in the Internet that is secret, hidden and quite dangerous. According to Anand Rajaraman, who is co-founder of a Jeff Bezos-investment and search engine for the Deep Web known as Kosmix, the “the visible web is the tip of the iceberg.” Unsearchable by Google search engines, the Deep Web is the place where an online technical writer should avoid at all costs. Or, is it?

Digging Deeper in the Web

The Deep Web, according to Time Magazine, is “a specific branch of the Internet that’s distinguished by that increasingly rare commodity: complete anonymity.” Highly prized for those who crave privacy, the Deep Web allows Internet browsers to browse in total privacy. This part of the Internet system is used for law enforcement and intelligence agents, as well as assassins, human traffickers, child pornographers and thieves. So unless you want to be on the CIA’s radar, or you’re interested in getting into a black market business, you should likely avoid the Deep Web. But what if did want to go there? How would you find the door to the Deep Web?

Accessing the Deep Web as an Online Technical Writer

According to Lev Grossman of Time Magazine, the Deep Web was “built by the US government, in particular, the US Naval research laboratory. They worked out the theory in the 90′s and then launched it in 2003. The deep web is a vital tool for intelligence agents, law enforcement, political dissidents in foreign countries with oppressive governments are trained in it by the state department. ”Getting to the Deep Web doesn’t require a 20-character password, the soul of your first born son, or even a little blood. Getting there requires a knowledge of search engines to the Deep Web. These include Intute, DeepPeep, Scirus and WWW Virtual Library. Once you get to the Deep Web, you can find a range of web pages, both private and dynamic, that are unsearchable by normal search engines.

Getting Deeper

For those uninterested in placing their computer server on the FBI’s “suspicious persons” list, you don’t have to go to the Deep Web to discover what you’ll find there. It is recently coming to the world’s attention that the Deep Web was the origin of the Wiki leaks. It is also the birth place of memes. The rest of the web is social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, along with enough pages to account for 500 terabytes. The Deep Web, on the other hand, consists of 5500 billion individual documents. Not for the faint of heart, this dark and dangerous part of the web is the place to go if you are interested in drug deals, child porn, and other unsightly data. Different servers found in the Deep Web include:

  • OnionIB
  • TorChan
  • Hidden Wiki
  • PedoPlanet
  • sTORage
  • Hard Candy
  • Tor P.M.
  • Onion Chan

Access to the Deep Web as it is being referred in the media is not too dissimilar from accessibility of other online pages. To get into the Deep Web you need a Deep Web browser. Unlike Firefox or Internet Explorer, Tor will gain you first class admission to the Deep Web. For instance, when someone is searching for your web content or freelance writing tools, your average search engines of Bing and Google utilize software and Spiders to scan the web for relevant pages. The Deep Web involves different software. Tor will allow you to search online in total anonymity. However, you are accessing an entirely different side of the Internet when you are in the Deep Web. Therefore, don’t expect to pull up the same web pages via Tor as you would using Firefox. Rather than .coms and .govs, you’ll find a bunch of .onions. Here you’ll find a list of the most common pages accessed in the Deep Web.

What’s the Big Picture Here?

As a freelance writer focused on producing web copy with web marketing potential, we are by default required to participate in this world we call the Web. While the Deep Web is not a territory most writers are looking to conquer, it is important that we understand what this entity is and what to expect from it. Of course, some writers, such as those covering the medical marijuana industry or child pornographer circles, will find content worth their while when traversing along the Deep Web. However, for the rest of us, it’s all we can do to keep up with the expectations of the clean cut version of the Web. Instead of dealing with pimps, thieves and pirates down in the Deep Web, the majority of freelancers are too busy wrestling with trolls and reading the minds of clients.

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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