There’s a reason celebrities find it difficult to be in romantic relationships with us common folk. It’s hard for commoners to understand and deal with the lifestyles and problems of celebrities. It’s the same, to a certain extent, for doctors, politicians, and those in the military — it takes a relatively rare kind of spouse to function and forgive when their husband or wife is gone most of the time, sometimes leaving with little or no notice.
It’s also hard for geeks to be married to non-geeks. Particularly techies married to those who get lost in Microsoft Office. This private investigator I did some work for offered me a contract gig doing “deep web research” and my wife flipped out worse than the time she caught me playing Uplink and thought it was real. We got into an all-night argument about whether it was legal and/or safe. I wrote her the following email which you may find helpful:
To my beloved bride,
Most people say “hacker” when they mean “cracker.” Most people say “internet” when they mean “world wide web” or “my ethernet cable” (for example, they say, “the internet is down” instead of “my connection is bad.”)
I got the following from a subreddit I love called “ELI5,” a place people go when they don’t understand something and want people to “explain like I’m five.”
The Surface Web is anything that a search engine can access. Search engines rely on pages that contain links to find and identify content.
The Deep Web is anything that a search engine can’t access.
The Dark Web then is classified as a small portion of the Deep Web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard web browsers. The most famous content that resides on the Dark Web is found in the TOR network. The TOR network is an anonymous network that can only be accessed with a special web browser, called the TOR browser. This is the portion of the Internet most widely known for illicit activities because of the anonymity associated with the TOR network.
The “deep web” is any place you have to go out of your way to get into — mostly databases to which have to log in (legally, and usually free) or use an API (write a few lines of code using an Application Programming Interface). Ancestry.com, for example, is in “the deep web” as is much content provided by dynamic web sites (which are database-driven, creating content based on user activity).
The “dark web” isn’t illegal in and of itself but, as the redditor said, illegal stuff likes it there just as bugs and other nasty creatures like dark, moist, warm places under carpets and dumpsters. Being on the dark web doesn’t mean you’re breaking the law, it just means you’re paranoid (legitimately or not). Libertarians and people who use Bitcoin love the dark web.