The Dark Side of the Web

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As the internet continued to grow in the mid-to-late 1990s it would come to transform society on a global scale. The biggest change came in the form of instant communication. As long as you had an internet connection you could talk to anyone on earth, assuming, of course, they were also connected to the internet. And around the millennium-shift you had over 350 million connected people to choose from. The thing is, the internet was not designed with things like anonymity and privacy in mind so everything you do and say online can and, in many cases, will be tracked, recorded, and traceable back to you. Some people are very concerned about their privacy and in the mid 1990s one such group of people was the United States federal government. A team of computer scientists and mathematicians working for a branch of the US Navy known as the Naval Research Laboratory, abbreviated as NRL, began development of a new technology known as onion routing. Onion routing would allow for anonymous bi-directional communication where the source and destination cannot be determined by a mid-point. This is accomplish by creating something known as an overlay network.