Subheader: The Various Webs and Law Enforcement
The Three Webs Defined As Related to L.E. Monitoring
Holiday reading: Subsequent to last week’s post regarding the use of geo-fencing and keyword logging warrants by law enforcement agencies, several readers asked me to define the various webs, i.e., the surface, deep and dark webs, as well as how they relate to l.e. monitoring of potential suspects and high-level security threats.
Surface Web: The majority of people employ Google, Bing, Firefox, Safari and like browsers. That area of the internet is called the surface or open web. It is the tip of internet that is visible to all, if you liken the internet to an iceberg. The surface web comprises only 4% of the entire Internet.
Deep web: The deep web is the portion of the Internet that is hidden and not shown from conventional search engines. IOW, it cannot be accessed by search engines; harboring sensitive and private information such as government data, bank data, cloud data (think the content of your personal email and social media accounts) etc. To access deep web data, you must go to the website, log in and locate the information within the site. Journalists and politically oppressed people internationally are common inhabitants of this space. The NYT has a permanent lockbox on this web.
Dark Web: The dark web, a subset of the deep web, refers to heavily encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines. Access requires a password, encryption, or specialty software to surf the anonymous environment as well as as a multi-layered encryption browser, i.e., TOR. This is where law enforcement concentrates its focus in that this is the area of the web in which criminals and nefarious routes reside (e.g. the Silk Road black market).
The above provides a glimpse into the enormous scope of the internet that domestic and foreign l.aw enforcement agencies must monitor. By its sheer size, unless one is labeled a probable master criminal or terrorist, law enforcement is mostly reactive in monitoring people. One would have to commit extremely egregious acts over a prolonged period of time for deep, sustained monitoring.
I say this knowing that AI tools specifically to monitor long-term have been developed and are being refined as I type. Lots to keep an eye on here.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe. and enjoy the holiday,