Brief but interesting history lesson on the Dark WebReview by: Morgan Hobbes
I had heard of the Dark Web prior to grabbing this 10-part Audible Original exposé but knew very little else. I'd heard of the Silk Road when it made the news and other brief stories as they made tech headlines but had never had any interest in trying to log on try it for myself.
After listening to this, nothing much has changed from my wanting to check it out but I have more of an idea about its origin, it's history and early goals, to its metamorphosis into what it is today... a singularity sink where privacy idealists and cyber-criminals alike can come together in the same place with many of the same needs driving them.
The origins of the dark web were probably the most interesting part I found with this. Developed by the US Navy but ultimately useless if only they had access to it, so they released it to the world where it could be used for good or bad, by anyone and without anyone knowing your true identity.
The episode on Bitcoin was interesting, yet I can't help but feel a connection was missed when everything is listened to as a whole. The elusive "Satoshi Nakamoto", inventor of the cryptocurrency through what I've learned is debated in earnest online with many claiming the title. However, given the origins of the Dark Web, I couldn't help but feel that surely the invention of Bitcoin solved a problem it had.
The US Government couldn't use the Dark Web in isolation, as anyone tracking connections to it would be immediately exposed as a US Government agent, so they made it open for everyone to use. Bitcoin solves a similar problem - nobody was going to use an illegal marketplace with easily tracked credit cards, so along came Bitcoin. Private, yes... to a degree, but ultimately traceable too with enough time and effort if you have the know-how.
Bitcoin fostered even more use of the Dark Web, making it even less likely for agents to be visible among the connections. Surely then it's not that much of a stretch to think the great crypto minds are hidden away in NSA think tanks and bunkers could have put their expertise to the Bitcoin problem and released it, free to use, to the whole world.
Got a bit off-topic there, but that was what struck me the most... where it seems a whole mystery exists where the answer is obvious. But in so far as this audiobook series -ultimately, an interesting history lesson that kept me coming back for each episode.