But wait! Don’t close your browser in disgust quite yet. Do be smart about your browsing—we have more security tips on the next page—and above all else, remember Onionland’s anarchistic nature. Tip #1: You don’t have to click anything you don’t want to. You aren’t likely to stumble across questionable stuff unless you specifically seek it out. Tip #2: Remember that thanks to the underlying Tor technology, this Darknet is truly anonymous. If something for sale on the Darknet catches your eye, ask yourself: Are the services listed in this major Onionland wiki legit, or are they fronts for people looking to separate fools from their Bitcoins? Many of the scarier listings in directories are flat-out scams. The bright side of the DarknetBut the same anonymity that makes Onionland a haven for weapons dealers and perverts also makes it a bastion of a more noble cause: free speech.Many countries lack the equivalent of the United States’ First Amendment. Darknets grant everyone the power to speak freely without fear of censorship or persecution. According to the Tor Project, anonymizing Hidden Services have been a refuge for dissidents in Lebanon, Mauritania, and Arab Spring nations; hosted blogs in countries where the exchange of ideas is frowned upon; and served as mirrors for websites that attract governmental or corporate angst, such as GlobalLeaks, Indymedia, and Wikileaks.The New Yorker’s Strongbox, which allows whistleblowers to securely and anonymously communicate with the magazine, is a Tor Hidden Service. The Tor Project says that authorities offer similarly secure tip lines, and that some militaries even use Hidden Services to create online secure command and control centers.
All about TorAt the heart of Onionland lies Tor.Ostensibly, Tor technology is designed to let you surf the Web anonymously, encrypting your connection requests and bouncing them through several in-network “nodes” before finally contacting the Web server that is your final destination.
Delve deeper into the Darknet, and you’ll find a veritable cornucopia of services dedicated to spreading the word: secure messaging and file-sharing tools, libraries chock-full of political literature, anonymous boards dedicated to intelligent debate, and much, much more. You’ll even find a completely anonymous mirror for the DuckDuckGo search engine, in case you’re worried about Google or Microsoft looking over your shoulder while you surf the Surface Web.And those are all things that you can find from the major directories. Imagine the secrets flowing even deeper, beyond the signposts and outside links. None of Onionland’s positive benefits—none—would be possible if it didn’t offer a level of security that made the service so appealing to less savory types.That’s the rub about free speech: Sometimes people say and do things you don’t like.Intrigued? Read on to learn more about the technical aspects of Onionland, and the tools and precautions you’ll need to visit the Darknet yourself.
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