More Than Tor : Shining a Light on Different Corners of the Dark Web

Benjamin Brown

Benjamin Brown

Speaker Bio

Benjamin Brown’s current research focuses on emerging technology areas where security research is novel such as IoT, AI/ML, cryptocurrencies, the dark web, and new underground digital economies. This leads to speaking engagements, publications, and media interaction to assist in generating new and expanded security insights and knowledge stores. His day job is with Veracode where he integrates his anthropology and international relations degrees with security research into large-scale, internet-level problems. Hobbies include blacksmithing, competitive axe throwing, Software-defined radio (SDR), and hiking.


When the terms darknet or dark web are invoked it is almost always in reference to the Tor network, but what about the other extant darknet frameworks? A true understanding of the dark web would be impossible and misleading if it only included the Tor network. In this talk I will expand the field of view to include frameworks such as Freenet, I2P, and OpenBazaar. We’ll take a quick look at the origins and technical underpinnings of these darknets as well as their actors and offerings. I will also discuss the differentiators that set these networks apart from Tor and highlight why they too should be included in modeling our knowledge of the dark web. Audience members will walk away with a fuller understanding of the internet’s hidden corners, the goals of its users, and the technologies that help keep them in the dark.