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The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,907 Ratings  ·  392 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 22nd 2015 by Melville House (first published 2014)
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Have you ever found yourself lost in the deep web? Checked out the merchandise on the Silk Road, and paid for it in Bitcoins? Or maybe you occasionally frequent 4chan, particularly /b/? If none of these things sound particularly familiar, then The Dark Net might be a good book to introduce you to all of them.

Jamie Bartlett writes the tech column for The Telegraph which I occasionally read, and I approached his book with interest - I expected it to be an approachable and readable introduction to
I can't remember when and how I first became aware of this book, but I had always assumed - mainly, I suppose, because of the title, and the subjects covered within the book - that it would primarily be about the deep web. In fact, only one chapter is really about that, and the rest of the book is actually about broader categories of online activity and behaviour encapsulated by the subtitle - 'inside the digital underworld'. Topics covered include trolling, political extremism, camsex, online c ...more
J. Kent Messum
Can you imagine a world without the internet today? It's brought us so much, become such a staple in our lives. There is little doubt that the net is one of the most important and influential creations in our human history. But in a lot of ways we've also created a monster, a Frankenstein sewn together from so many parts of our own collective psyche, both good and bad. Author Jamie Bartlett (who is also the Director of the Center for the Analysis of Social Media) does us a great service by disse ...more

If you want to read a book that reveals all the hidden, mysterious secrets of the 'Dark Net', this isn't it. Jamie Bartlett does talk about the 'underground network' - and provides details about the the 'Silk Road' website that sells illegal drugs - but most of the sites discussed aren't especially cryptic. Neverthless, the author provides an interesting overview of non-mainstream goings on in the cyberworld. In Bartlett's view, the dark net is a place where "users say and do what they like, oft
Sam Quixote
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Deep Web is a significant part of the internet that doesn’t show up on regular search engines and can only be accessed via TOR encrypted browsers. Probably the most famous part of the Deep Web is Silk Road which became famous for successfully selling drugs in vast quantities over the internet. The “dark internet” is dead data that can no longer be reached via computers and Darknet is a file-sharing network that’s part of the Deep Web.

I mention these distinctions because it seems that many re
Wayne Marinovich
Wonderful, well researched book. I am busy researching a novel and wanted some info on the dark web without having to get involved in it. Well written.
Alexander Fitzgerald
I heard a bunch of negative press for this book because it didn't delve too deeply into any one of its very interesting topics. Still, I was intrigued by the subject matter, so I gave The Dark Net a spin.

Boy, am I glad I took that chance. The Dark Net is not mindblowing, but for someone like me who didn't know 90% of what was in the book this was riveting material. His explorations of the different political factions, internet history, internet terrorist propaganda, child pornography, drug marke
اینترنت از بدو پیدایش یک فرصت برای افراد فراهم کرده تا به صورت ناشناس با بقیه افراد رابطه برقرار کنن و حرف ها و کارهایی که در دنیای واقعی و زندگی روزمره نامتعارف محسوب می شه و خیلی ها از انجامش خودداری می کنن رو انجام بدن. افراد می تونن انتقادها، فحاشی ها، دزدی ها، خرابکاری ها، معاملات کالاهای غیر قانونی، اشتراک فیلم ها و عکس های رابطه جنسی با بچه ها، تروریسم، و خیلی کارهای دیگه رو انجام بدن. چون توی این فضا هویت افراد می تونه ناشناس بمونه و فرد می تونه مسئولیت کارهایی که انجام می شه رو نپذیره.. ...more
If you don't hang out much on the Internet, then "The Dark Net" will be a cursory but fascinating tour through the tubes, like a fucked-up version of Richard Scarry's "What Do People Do All Day?"

If, on the other hand, you know what pro-ana/pro-mia, rickrolling, and /b/ are, there's not much here that's terribly new. There are still great snippets from interviews here and there, but overall that crowd will find this more entertaining than informative or enlightening. I, for one, was expecting an
Stefan Pavic
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I pre ove knjige smo znali da na internetu možemo pronaći hakere, devojke koje se pred kamerama skidaju za novac, pedofile, destrukciju, forume o anoreksiji i td. Dok sam uzimao knjigu u ruke pomalo sam bio skeptičan šta ću unutra zateći, ali posle nekoliko stranica ušao sam u digitalni svet i nije bilo povratka. Način na koji je ova knjiga pisana je neverovatno jednostavan. Mislio sam da neću razumeti ni reč, ali ova knjiga je i za one koji i pored toliko provedenih sati na računaru i dalje seb ...more
Atila Iamarino
Não esperava um livro tão descritivo e imparcial e fui bem surpreendido. Um pouco da história do Tor, Onion, Bitcoin e a mistura disso tudo, falando sobre quem estava por trás. De maneira imparcial, passando os pontos positivos e negativos do que desenvolveram. Com direito a um resumos sobre trolls mais rápido e historicamente mais completo do que o This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture.
Todd N
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like that Cake song goes, we are “fastening our safety belts and stepping towards the ledge.” In this case the Dark Net is what we’re peering at. Depending on your disposition the Dark Net is defined as (A) that portion of the Internet only reachable via TOR, (B) that portion of the the Internet unreachable by Google’s crawlers, (C) A + B + 4chan, or (D) A + B + anything on the Internet that you feel morally superior to. Personally, I’m going with C.

Normally I avoid books by journalists writing
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Have you ever spent a hard day trolling online, stopped to wonder why you spend your life pointlessly attacking people, and then felt the need to purchase some illicit drugs on the dark net to dull the pain of living in your parents’ basement? If so, this book is not for you. But for the rest of us, curious as to why internet trolls are so nasty, and how the dark net is used for all sorts of illegal activities Jamie Bartlett’s The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld is an entertaining read. ...more

This quote from the book sums up how I felt about it:

"The dark net is not black and white: it is confusing shades of gray."

I went into this book thinking -- much as the author did when researching it -- that there would be a very firm moral stance, good vs. evil. But there is no easy out here -- even the most black and white subjects on the surface turn out to be far more nuanced than expected. And, like the author, I had more questions after reading this book than before I started.

Some chapters
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
The internet can be a wonderful thing, Full of facts, fun and cats. But all that glitters is not necessarily gold, and this is so very true with the internet. Bartlett has decided to scratch the surface of the mirror ball and see what lurks beneath.

And it isn't nice.

As he wades through the nastiest parts of the internet, he writes about trolls, the availability of illegal drugs from Silk Road, legal and illegal pornography and the use of TOR for anonymity. He meets extremists, attends a cam show
3.5 stars -- Most proficient users of the Internet are aware that there are hidden, lesser-known areas of the web beyond the surface web content the vast majority of us stick to. This book is an explanation of the so-called deep or dark net for those who are mostly unfamiliar with it.

Many of the sites and communities Bartlett describes aren't actually on the dark web--that is, intentionally hidden sites that require a special browser to access. Rather, they are sites that most people (hopefully
The title is a bit of a misnomer, as it's not all about the actual dark net. It's about the (figurative) dark side of the internet, which definitely includes, but is not limited to, the actual dark net where you can buy drugs and hire assassins. There are chapters on trolls, webcam models, hate groups on social media, Bitcoin, child pornography, etc. The author actually bought some pot on Silk Road 2.0 to see how it works. (He found the user experience pleasant and easy.)

Basically, what you lear
Alejandro V. Betancourt
As an Arts and Law student (Majoring in Politics and History) I was fascinated and shocked by the concept of The Deep Dark Web. How can someone who has dedicated the last five years of his life to understanding the workings of society, regulation and governance have only a vague, if any, idea of what the dark net was before reading this book? And that points to a pervasive truth - the digital world is now a world of its own, out of sight and out of reach from governments.

The book argues quite b
I've been using computers for many years now and had roles in IT in various forms. It took me a while to take to the Internet - dial-up modems were not exactly conducive to making any real use of what was out there and I am not a patient soul. However by the start of this century I was making extensive use of the Internet both personally and for work and have continued to do so ever since. I often heard things about "the other internet" and was aware of TOR for concealing your presence (in a sen ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Porn, slut shaming, the Silk Road/ Ross Ulbricht, professional trollers who make a game of it, and the other less savory aspects of the internet, dubbed the Dark Net, are all covered in this book. I am not sure if this book wasn't captivating in its own right or I simply wasn't captivated because I had recently finished Nick Bilton's American Kingpin, with which this book cannot hope to compare. Even though Bilton's account of the Dark Net has a much narrower focus, Ross Ulbricht's Silk Road, an ...more
S.P. Aruna
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A cyber mirror, a frightening, often disordered gamut of possibilities of the human mind, this corner of the internet strips off all pretense and presents the full range of paths that consciousness can travel and expose behaviors beyond the realm of social norms. There is no denial, the appraisal is brutally honest and grotesque and whatever was once unspeakable can now be uttered. We can label it sick, disgusting, immoral, weird...but there it is. The Marquis de Sade, and other "libertines"of s ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating books covering online issues rarely examined yet profoundly important - the growth of radical political entities, online drug markets, and the democratisation of pornography. Bartlett meets with some of the actors behind the scenes who have some unlikely tales to tell. He then relates these stories back to us through the greater lens of human history and psychology, remaining surprisingly non-judgemental throughout. It's stretched a little thinly over the length of a novel, but thi ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting disclosure of the internet's dark underbelly. Read it quick, it's already out of date.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not think when I bought this intriguing book about the hidden faces of the Internet that I would relate it to my three previous blogposts. The world is dangerous, the physical world is dangerous as we all know and as it was confirmed in Paris last week (A tribute on Jan. 8, We are all sad on Jan. 7). It is also known that the online world may be dangerous as illustrated by Jamie Bartlett in The Dark Net. I am not sure that the authors of How The Web Was Born (Dec. 2) had envisioned such po ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched and engaging, The Dark Net sheds light on the seedy underbelly of the Internet: through the Silk Road and beyond, it delves into issues of privacy and free speech, and the result is surprisingly accessible even to laypeople.

What Jamie Bartlett finds in this ‘Dark Net’ is sometimes disturbing (an average sort of bloke who seems eminently normal but also has a huge stash of child pornography); sometimes eye-roll-worthy (the radicals for whom Bitcoin heralds a new world order); and
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Scary. Just scary. Some of the things I learned from this book I can't now un-learn. There are frightening minds out there, and the question is, were they always frightening, or did the internet simply give them a focus, a conduit - a means? But then we get into some interesting questions regarding censorship and civil liberties, neither of which this book discusses in much detail (possibly because then it would become a different book completely, one devoted to ethics rather than simply Scary S ...more
Wow, took me a long time to finish this book as I left huge gaps between reading it. I guess that means it's NOT unputdownable! But it definitely was very interesting. The dark side of the net is a crazy place and this book even got me to download the TOR browser and take a quick glance for myself. I didn't explore deeply at all as don't want police units busting down my door! Just pure curiosity to see that it is really there. Well, yes, the dark net is really there folks.

The invention of non-
John Devlin
(2.5)Not as in-depth as I would have liked. Bartlett simply motors through the various vices the internet abets: drugs, pornography, bullying. While Dark Net reveals much of what goes on in chat rooms dedicated to pro-anexoria and suicide, the book never mines much new material or engages in how the internet functions at these levels.

At the end, Bartlett comes to the rather obvious conclusion that the Internet is a reflection of ourselves; a tool that can be used for good or ill.
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Jamie Bartlett is a journalist and tech blogger for The Telegraph and Director of The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media for Demos in conjunction with The University of Sussex.

In 2013, he covered the rise of Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement in Italy for Demos, chronicling the new political force's emergence and use of social media.

In 2014, he released The Dark Net, discussing the darknet and
More about Jamie Bartlett

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“Creating our own realities is nothing new, but now it’s easier than ever to become trapped in echo chambers of our own making.” 3 likes
“Part of living in a free society is accepting that no idea is beyond being challenged or ridiculed, and that nothing is more stifling to free expression than being afraid to upset or offend.” 2 likes
More quotes…