The Dark Net:Inside the Digital Underworld by Jamie Bartlett

Excerpt from this article:

…Stories in The Dark Net detail a murky world beneath the familiar “surface web” of Google, Facebook and Twitter. Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at think tank Demos, is an expert guide. For years he immersed himself in a culture where emails are encrypted, Internet browsing is untraceable, and payments are made using faceless Bitcoin systems.

…Yet the book is not intended as an expose so much as an exploration of this underworld. At the heart of The Dark Net is the “crypto war” for privacy in cyberspace – recently thrown into sharp relief by Edward Snowden’s revelations of the Internet snooping programmes of US and UK intelligence services. Bartlett tells the history of the libertarian “cypherpunks” who for 20 years have fought for anonymity and personal liberty on the Internet.

…Acknowledging the creativity on the dark web, Bartlett says: “For every destructive sub-culture I examined there are just as many that are positive, helpful and constructive.”

…In his author’s note, Bartlett admits “readers may question the wisdom of writing about this subject at all, and express concern at the information”. But he shines an invaluable light on a world that remains determinedly opaque.

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