As social networking keeps rocking the assembly line of online bot personalities derived from mining user preferences, a fact that immediately goes over the head of 99% of the account holders, the mainstream press faces the barrel of the gun in either adapting to the modern age, or wallowing in a dizzying feedback loop of retched defeatism. And try they have with gimmicks and clickbait, especially the dinosaurs of the traditional news mediums attempting to stave off the impending doom continue to produce swanky off Broadway shows of glitz and glamour, yet fail to create a viable business model. The futile effort at grasping for perspective in the information age is almost laughable, as the cruel inevitability of technological Darwinism divides both corporations and the generations.
The race to process and refine scraps of data trash that holds the lucrative possibility of being shaped into viral content, rivals the harried and exhausting pace of the current NBA product, but instead of players showcasing skills and athleticism in outdueling opponents up and down the court, classic news organizations brandish jagged weapons laced with biological toxins and hack away at each as the ball rolls harmlessly under the bleachers. Underhanded tactics of tycoon business warfare aside, innovative and risky commerce bolstering methodologies are being tried and tested, some which defy belief.
The BBC news takes the cake at this point for creative intrigue, as the public broadcast syndicate is going at least halfway to the dark side in bolstering visitor numbers to its vast reach and bustling family of associated web domains and apps. Corporate officials have created a duplicate website for the news organization’s main page on a browser which gives law abiding users anonymity to search in relative peace, and is also frequently used as a portal to the darkweb for those with questionable appetites. The bleak sounding compound word defining in many ways a lawless realm strikes visions of boisterous waves of underground and untraceable crime syndicates operating freely on a hidden and mysterious layer of the internet.
Hijacked bank accounts, drugs, weapons, and people, are all fair game in the decrepit vortex of the darkweb, as commodities fueling a retched pirate’s secret lair of an economy based on conversation killing ideas and the most despicable characteristics of human nature. Cash is passe, as Bitcoin is the predominate currency of the unspeakable, but that does not temper the internecine. A conundrum develops with good and evil, as the more intense and dedicated effort law enforcement makes in putting a stop to the demented pageantry of unregulated anarchy, the infrastructure nightmares in real life grows proportionally.
Among the horrific urban legends of hedonism colliding with impossible tortuous acts capable only with the darkest souls of men, there exists a glint of light in the perpetual hell in the form of a perfected Faraday cage style disguise. As the cruel architects of pain and suffering can achieve disheartening lows as digital ghosts, so can individuals fighting for change reach for incredible highs of triumph as untraceable beings of hope. Governments of North Korea, Russia, China, Albania, and Venezuela better be aware, and most likely they are plotting a defense strategy. Leadership at the BBC clearly sees the glaring sunrise at the end of the tunnel, as those blinded and silenced over the centuries, now have a template for change by the name of Tor. An interesting caveat to this development, is that the news source is a tax-payer funded venture, and at least on a UK scale, the broadcaster makes a concerted effort to prevent those who are not contributing to the coffers from accessing the content through any type of medium.
The streamlined BBC News site as it appears on the Tor web browser.
Tor was originally designed as the ultimate privacy web browser for those who did not wish to be tracked while exploring the entirety of the internet. As aggressive campaigns spurred by governments and big business to monitor browsing habits became a nasty reality, downloads of Tor increased. The browser still provides access to the good old world wide web, but with a radical amount of encryption going on. Tor can be safely downloaded here. The technology behind the software which is supported my multiple platforms, allows the user to experience the internet in stealth mode, as IP addresses are masked behind a maze of eloquent subversion. Political dissidents and adversaries to totalitarian regimes can avoid firewalls employed by the powerful cyber security units in receiving and dispersing information on a global scale.
That is the positive side to the darkweb, unmitigated electronic free speech. A virtual home for the First Amendment principles. The other end of the spectrum does not deserve any further mention.
The BBC recently launched the clone website on Tor in hopes of unleashing a publicity bonfire, and giving folks under the lock and key of daunting bureaucracy, access to unfiltered news, a forward thinking gesture that is worth repeating by some of the other media giants. Or is it simply an indirect means for British government to proliferate policy globally, as the majority are unaware of the snugly relationship between the newsroom moguls and 10 Downing street? Just how ideologically intimate the two organizations are with other goes a long way in unraveling the backhanded underworld of subterfuge and rhetoric.
On a more practical note, domains within the darkweb universe are smartly labeled with .onion, instead of the frequently used .com everywhere else. The metaphor of the complexities unveiled in pealing the vegetable is perfect illustration of the ongoing high stakes game of electronic hide and seek as IP’s and VPN’s are ceaselessly shuffled and fortunes are made and lost.
Even the pompously sneaky F***book boasts an address on Tor, but can still track the 1 million or so users with the same reckless gusto and thought policing ways, once they actually log into the social network. But good luck to you Mr. Zuckerberg in figuring out where the heck in the digital universe your clever account holders arrived from.
Here is a list of popular darkweb (.onion) destinations for the curious mind. (Tor must be downloaded to view).
Duckduckgo.com is part of the Tor experience and powered this editorial.