Last week I had an article posted on a dutch website, ISP Today, a platform for dutch Internet Service Providers. By request is here the article in English as well. If you are interested in the dutch article you can read it here “Darknet : het nieuwe Internet?

Darknet: The new Internet?

I think we can all admit that the Internet has changed a lot since we got to know it.
We saw it grow from a limited amount of hosts to a number that hardly fits the IPv4 address scope.

User friendly

Next to the amount of websites that has increased over the years, we also see that websites have become more modern.
They are looking for more interaction with the users and therefore become more user friendly.
Of course also the increase in Internet speeds has been a big part of this, since websites could be extended with more images and videos.

Power struggle

These are all the good things of the Internet that we all hoped for when we got in touch with it.
One way or another we all contributed to it. The flip side is that also other sides have increased.
There were always the regular Internet taps, but since several years there is also the data-retention,
This requires logging of which IP address communicated with which and which email mailed to which.
And since February 1st two of the bigger ISP’s in the Netherlands have to block one of the bigger Internet sites.
Shortly, with the success of the Internet, also the struggle for power on the Internet has really begun.


But the measures as they are being implemented now are slowly starting to get useless.
In different ways new networks are being built over the Internet, so called Darknets.
These are networks that bypass these measures.
Because of the encryption it’s not possible to check what data is sent over these networks and due to the mesh structure it’s not possible to effectively check who communicates with whom.
Many of the endpoints on these networks are often configured that it’s also impossible to see who is behind the endpoints of these networks, making them anonymous.

Important role

With the role that the Internet has now and the control that is being enforced, these sorts of networks are here to stay.
The role the Internet has played in the Arabic Revolutions would have been easier to suppress if the people that started the revolutions did not have access to such networks.


The flip side of this however is that these networks are also being used to gather and spread content that is ethically undesirable.
That certain images and videos, which most people would prefer had not even be made in the first place, end up in the dark alleys of the Internet

Control mechanism

But that these networks evolved is due to our own lack of actions, by letting different control mechanisms be introduced too easily.
Was it really necessary to have those data retention laws introduced for all communication?
Was it too hard for our governments to arrange Internet taps?
Wasn’t the person-centered approach good enough?


The consequences are clear, the Internet shows it’s resilience by adjusting with this Internet over the Internet.
An Internet that makes the current control mechanism obsolete.
Internet that is not controlled, like we are used to from when we got to know it and that will be even harder to control in the future.
For me the only question that remains is; “is this really progress?”

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