TOR co-founder says ‘dark net’ only represents 3% of traffic on the onion network
Roger Dingledine who was one of the co-founders of the TOR anonymity network down played its role as a hideout for people committing illegal activity such as sharing kiddy porn and drug dealing by saying that the majority of the people use TOR for anonymity and privacy and that only 3% of people connect to hidden services.
TOR hidden services are webpages that cannot be view through a regular internet connection only when connected to the TOR network. It is these websites that are often refereed to as the ‘dark web’. Unlike a regular website these hidden services don’t require someone to register a domain name instead they are given a internet addresses ending with .ONION usually with the first part of the address a random mix of letters and numbers. Because of the way the TOR network operates it is therefore impossible to tell who owns or runs these hidden services and the location of the server hosting the site.
At the recent hacking convention DEF CON in Las Vegas he went on to dismiss the hidden services as so small its not worth worrying about. He told the audience “There is basically no dark web. It doesn’t exist, It’s only a very few webpages.”
He went on to say that the most popular website visited over TOR is Facebook, which actually set up its own .ONION address in 2014 – facebookcorewwwi.onion
Considering that Facebook’s T&Cs require that users use their real name and also to verify their account with a phone number that could undermine the privacy benefits gained by using TOR but it would still be a viable way to use the service if you lived in a country which regular blocks access to Facebook or where the regime heavily monitors its citizens internet traffic.