“If you are going to do this, don’t use your real identity; it’s all about anonymity.” That’s the first piece of advice Robb Meyer, a senior in the Computer Information Systems (CIS)Networking program in the School of Media and Design, offers people settling into computer stations for an hour-long informational session into the dark web. Along with other principal members of the Crypto Cardinals, a cyber security student organization, and CIS faculty members Phil Youngblood and advisor Dr. James C. Collins, Meyer was on hand to help demystify this corner of the internet.
“The dark web is unindexed. It’s like visiting a new country, you need a tour guide,” he said.
The club’s president, senior Patrick Van Horn gave a thorough presentation to the approximately 20 attendees who came to learn from the student experts and lead them through this off-the-map cyberspace. While there is plenty to be wary of, “the deep web was created for everyone to have the power to speak freely without fear of censorship or persecution,” said Van Horn. Journalists in countries that suppress the freedom of the press and citizens in countries that monitor internet use have turned to this corner of cyberspace to communicate anonymously.
After having their myths dispelled, attendees toured pages of the dark web through specially secured computers in a lab pre-designated for this use. In other words, don’t try this at home.
While the dark web was the focus of the Crypto Cardinals’ first meeting of the year, the club will meet regularly to share their cybersecurity insights, from lock-picking to utilizing Raspberry Pi devices, with the UIW community and help quell internet safety anxieties. After all, the better informed the community, the safer the community.