Artificial Intelligence’s Job of Cleaning the Dark Web

In Columns, Technology

The deep web is the part of the internet that isn’t included in surface web. In better words, the deep web is the unindexed part of the internet, search engines can’t really find such websites. Deep web itself isn’t bad at all, it just isn’t indexed. People often confuse the deep web with the dark web. The dark web is that part of the internet which is usually associated with illegal activity, it requires certain software or authorization to get access.

The dark web is notoriously known for its use as a black market for selling anything from children, illegal drugs and organs (and other common black market products) with the use of cryptocurrencies. Obviously, the dark web is more than just an online black market, there are perfectly legal activities going on in the dark web too, and this is important to remember. Obviously, we need to stop the online black market.

Stopping the online black market

The job of stopping the online black market is now being taken over by machine learning and artificial intelligence tools. Earlier, this same work was done by government agents, they had to investigate the content manually. Now, manually checking out such websites has a low hit rate and if a person accidentally sees something illegal going on, it can affect their mental wellbeing. This is why AI and ML are going to be used to throw some light on the dark web. AI and ML will also sweep the dark web much faster than any person could do it.

The problem with using AI and ML for this job is that 40% of the websites on the dark web are completely legal. Of the remaining 60%, there isn’t enough clarity and this 60% includes anonymous transactions which are legal. One thing that arises here is motive. The AI needs to be able to understand the motive for someone who is using the dark web, if it’s to access one of the clean sites which lies in the 40%, the user is clean for the most part. The rest of the websites need to be scoured. In the 60%, as mentioned before, only the illegal dealings need to be stopped.

It is obviously a challenging obstacle to overcome for AI and ML but these technologies continue to amaze us and it’s hard to see why AI and ML won’t be able to clean the dark web.

(The article is authored by Nishant Nijhawan, Intern, Techxty.com. Nishant is a student of computer engineering at Delhi Technical University who believes in optimal usage of technology.)

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