C.2.2 Distinguish between the surface web and the deep web


Surface web

The surface web is the part of the web that can be reached by a search engine. For this, pages need to be static and fixed, so that they can be reached through links from other sites on the surface web. They also need to be accessible without special configuration. Examples include Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc.

Summary:

  • Pages that are reachable (and indexed) by a search engine
  • Pages that can be reached through links from other sites in the surface web
  • Pages that do not require special access configurations

Deep web

The deep web is the part of the web that is not searchable by normal search engines. Reasons for this include proprietary content that requires authentication or VPN access, e.g. private social media, emails; commercial content that is protected by paywalls, e.g. online news papers, academic research databases; personal information that is protected, e.g. bank information, health records; dynamic content. Dynamic content is usually a result of some query, where data are fetched from a database.

Summary:

  • Pages not reachable by search engines
  • Substantially larger than the surface web
  • Common characteristics:
    • Dynamically generated pages, e.g. through queries, JavaScript, AJAX, Flash
    • Password protected pages, e.g. emails, private social media
      • Paywalls, e.g. online news papers, academic research databases
      • personal information, e.g. health records
    • Pages without any incoming links

    Distinguish between the surface web and the deep web 2

    [ TOK: Data is always accessible? ]

    Q What's an example of a site on the surface web, deep web and dark web?

    Q How can you access the dark web?(We can't install/configure/access it from school)

    Q What are some ethical/moral uses of the dark web? Are they justified?

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