Can Journalism be Bound for the Dark Web?

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The future of journalism: verified reporting, truth sharing, blockchain technology, and the possibility of support from the dark web.

Is true journalism eventually bound for the dark web? With all of the indications that truth is under attack in 2018, particularly via the mainstream media, it’s possible that some news itself may go underground and use existing infrastructure such as the dark web.

Journalists may want to provide evidence in a whistle-blower fashion while concurrently protecting their identity due to the ever-increasing risks of challenging the fearful establishment.

Beyond the constraints of true identities and metadata breadcrumbs exists the server system that comprises the dark web. It seems as though we are currently only scratching the surface of the potential, especially in terms of a freedom of speech vehicle.

Freedom of speech has previously been something that has always existed on the clear net. The internet as a whole was always about providing the same sized megaphone to each individual user, and allowing other users to, in a sense, peer review any papers, ideas or worthy comments.

No amount of money could provide a bigger megaphone to a user. Then, over time, the clear net was shaped by revolutionary platforms. These platforms then became more profitable than imaginable and provided avenues for money to ‘promote.’

Substance used to rise to the top. In 2018, it’s an entirely different ball game.

Your TOR usage is being watched

Bots rule these waters. ‘Cyberwar’ (as frustrating as it is to use this word, it unfortunately now seems appropriate) legislation is being debated for the first time in our history.

Even though it is possible to tell bots apart from real users upon closer examination, it’s at times impossible to tell them apart in web-based polls, retweets, or the general spreading of false, misleading or inflammatory information.

And information which has been spread enough from various sources is like small flames under a big tree: a leaf or two eventually fall, act as catalyst, burn the next, and before anyone can put it out, the whole state is on fire.

Today, being a true journalist can come at a severe cost. Larger publications tend to have an overarching narrative.

It’s possible this will become more and more stifling in an active effort to quash stories that affect shareholders, and thus the bottom line.

Where are we to turn as net neutrality takes full swing in the United States? Truth is actively attacked in today’s mainstream media. What are we to believe? Where are we to turn? There is a subset of society that genuinely choose to believe personalities over unbiased factual research.

A whole generation accustomed to glowing, sleep disrupting, blue light pumping from their screens bought on credit. A generation doomed.

Russian hacker hacking the server in the dark
Is true journalism eventually bound for the dark web? With all of the indications that truth is under attack in 2018

There are two core reasons the dark web could be a solution to the risks currently present, and in a sense provide asylum to real budding journalists: those who fact check; those who risk their lives; those who believe in disseminating the truth.

  1. The dark web can provide true anonymity to journalists, whistle-blowers, and persons at risk.

Anonymity can be incredibly important in allowing sources and publishers of sensitive information the avenue to do so freely; however, it’s a double-edged sword. On the other side is verification of the information. Sources require some form of upfront trust and continuity. This continuity could be maintained through PGP key verification.

  1. A merit and trust-based blockchain can play a role in decentralizing news and securing truth.

Journalism may become merit based and verified by proof of work concepts. If the clear net is under attack, the dark net can provide refuge. Decentralization of a trusted and verified network of articles maintains truth through solidification.

Let us not forget that Julian Assange once was a beacon of truth – dirt and all; however, doubt is cast over WikiLeaks’ private keys, meaning they may be compromised. A system could exist with fast peer review in order to verify independent journalists’ articles and service them to the mainstream media.

There is a clear net project putting some of these principles into function. Civil recognizes the challenges and wants to put the power into people’s hands.

Though it’s yet another service utilizing blockchain technology (despite it all becoming a bit much), some processes should genuinely supported with a proof of work protocol. Journalism is a big contender.

Moreover, the dark web is a big contender as a series of nodes which can support clear net versions. The dark web can act as a data backup for clear net sites and support if the lights go out through the new cyberwarfare game we’re all gearing up to be in.

It might be wider than journalism. It might support truth on a wider systemic level. A clear net proudly verified by the dark web could be the next step.



Con's education background is law, where he's published on crypto-currency regulation. His opinion editorials range across the relationships between people and technology and the societal challenges it presents. His passion is for information security and the intertwining legal issues
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