An Independent and New Statesman Book of the Year
Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit—a world of Google, Facebook, and Twitter—lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities, and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. This is the world of Bitcoin and Silk Road, of radicalism and pornography. This is the Dark Net.
In this important and revealing book, Jamie Bartlett takes us deep into the digital underworld and presents an extraordinary look at the internet we don't know. Beginning with the rise of the internet and the conflicts and battles that defined its early years, Bartlett reports on trolls, pornographers, drug dealers, hackers, political extremists, Bitcoin programmers, and vigilantes—and puts a human face on those who have many reasons to stay anonymous.
Rich with historical research and revelatory reporting, The Dark Net is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at a world that doesn't want to be known.
Bartlett, a technology columnist for the Telegraph, takes readers on an engaging if occasionally disturbing tour of the Internet's darker corners. While some associate the term "dark net" with the deeper levels untraveled by most casual users, Bartlett expands the designation to include more accessible niches as well, including sites for child pornography, racial supremacists, suicide forums, and camgirls. These Internet underworlds are "worlds of freedom and anonymity, where users say and do what they like, often uncensored, unregulated, and outside of society's norms," Bartlett writes. As he explores the evolution and nature of trolling online and traces its origins back to the dawn of the Internet itself, he likewise examines the function of identity in a setting where you can reinvent yourself endlessly, for good and bad, and how it impacts the real world. He looks at how the Internet fosters communities brought together by every interest imaginable. He also touches upon the evolution of commerce and illicit transactions, visiting the famed Silk Road website to see all that's available for those who dare. While some of these revelations come as little surprise pornography online is hardly a secret this is still a lively, darkly informative work. Readers may find some of the frankness and subject matter upsetting, though, as Bartlett hits some controversial subjects (e.g., pro-anorexia and pro-suicide websites) along the way.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not what I expected. Too grim a world for me. Log off, go outside and breath the fresh air.