Darknet: how can it be a weapon of dissent?

11 months ago · 0 comments

Negatively connoted and the object of many fantasies in the collective imagination, the darknet is often seen as the supermarket of crime, the place of trafficking... How can it also contribute to freedom of expression and information?

With each passing day, Russia is closing in on itself a little more; it has banned most Western social networks and platforms and is trying to control the Internet. 

Behind this digital iron curtain, what role can the darknet or the darknets play in the free flow of information? And above all, how can we define this underground network, this shadow internet that has had such bad press for a long time? What is his story? How does it work, and to what extent can it be a weapon of dissent? 

Finally, what are the links between the GAFAM, symbol of the commercial Internet, and the darknets with an anarchist utopia? 

In the vast body formed by the Internet, the surface web is easily accessible by our multiple queries on search engines. In contrast, the deep web constitutes another, much larger body of unindexed content. The darknets are part of this deep web, but these networks are voluntarily anonymised. Often used in the singular, the word darknet is polysemic as Amaelle Guiton, journalist, indicates: " a darknet is an anonymous private network that operates between peer-to-peer users (about peer-to-peer). There are many different kinds of darknets, and when we talk about the darknet, we often talk about the Tor network and anonymisation network. The connection goes through multiple nodes, multiple relays, and layers of cryptography, hence the term onion routing.  

Thanks to this routing system, Tor ( The onion router ) makes it possible to camouflage the geographical origin and activity of the Internet user. As Laurent Gayard, a political science teacher, an invention based on a particular ideology, reminds us: " The philosophy behind Tor comes from the Cyberpunks, an anarchist and a narco-libertarian movement of the 1970s/1980s". Ensuring privacy through the use of cryptography was the goal of this movement.