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It
was the summer of 2017. I can still remember the feeling of a hot and
humid air blowing to my face as and hear the wailing of dogs outside
as I was browsing the internet – a system of networks that connect
different computers, and even devices from around the world – to,
well feed my boredom. I was always fascinated how the world gave
birth to this amazing technology that lead to multiple innovations
and advances after three decades of it’s first release.

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A
sudden thought came out of me after watching some documentaries about
how the government hides information from its people. The thought
always demolishes my trust for the government and the people from the
top, making me furious and angry to the point that I wanted to plan
on taking them down. In fact, where I came from corruption in the
government is always present, giving them a bad reputation not just
to me but also to my colleagues.

I
remember doing my research about how the internet was built, how it
works and why was it released in the first place. Everytime somone
hears the word internet, I bet the first things pops into their minds
are “browser”, “social media”, “information”,
“knowledge”, “google”, “facebook”, etc.
It’s the norm to expect that everyone have access to all of the
things in the internet. But, I was able to found out that the
internet as we know and see it, is just the tip of the iceberg. That
the internet we commonly know is called the “clearnet”. The
clearnet is the internet we can see when we try to look for it in
some famous search engines like google, duckduckgo, yahoo, and bing.
But, like I said, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Because that only
accounts for 10% of the internet. The remaining 90% is what the
technical people and hackers call the deep web and dark web, but
don’t be confused of these two because both are different from each
other. I know you might have heared of the word deep or dark web
before, and I bet that the first thing that comes in mind to you
after you read the last paragraph were “hackers”,
“blackmarket”, “anti-government”, and “bitcoin”.
That’s partially true, because most of the services located in the
deep web are for governemnt use, most of the time. The dark web
however, it’s were curious people and hackers dwell on and call it
paradise. That’s were I went everytime I was bored.

Now,
I remember telling this to my friend. And the first thing he asked me
was “Can you hack my facebook account?”. I cringe everytime
people confuse me of being a hacker. I can’t blame them, because it’s
embedded in the society to be afraid of hackers. One friend even made
jokes of me, trying to imitate me typing on a keyboard but with an
exaggerating way. People often are misguided by the mass media by
putting bad reputation into this people, that’s why the society is
misleaded. Hackers are classified into three different people: (1)
the white hat hackers, the ones who maintain and keep the security of
networks and computers and are often considered to be the good guys,
(2) the black hat hackers, the ones you usually see in television
because they do it for greedy or personal purposes, and they are the
ones who commit illegal activites like theft, breaking in, etc. and
(3) the grey hat hackers, who work somewhere in the middle of white
hat and black hat hackers. These people maintain a connection to each
other, to share information that’s mostly related to information
security.

Now
back to the main story, I was browsing the deep web to search for
websites that provide hidden services. I came across of a website
similar to wikipidea but it contains a list of indexed websites that
are famous and running as of that year. I remember a few names of
from the list like 4chan, hackphreak, silkroad, and green market. The
first website I found from that list was a site that sells fake
iPhones. The next was a forum, and the rest were all black markets. I
was intrigued by the forum that I visited, because I read a thread
about a how the government spies on their people by tracking their
metadata – stored information about who you texted, who you last
called, your recently used apps, basically it’s information about
you. And a user recommended to watch the movie Snowden, a documentary
of Edward Snowden who was a former NSA / CIA worker who became a
whistleblower after exposing the government of it’s surveilance. The
documentary showed and demonstrated how a single device you hold like
your smartphone and laptop can be used to identify who you are, even
track your location – where ever you go, and control your camera (for
smartphones and laptops). After watching the documentary, it somewhat
resonated to me to do something. It made me moved, just like when a
child knows about a secret. I felt knowledgable, aware, and changed.

Because
of those happenings, I know hold the power to do something. I can now
change the world, change the system because I now know how things
work. I know it now, and I won’t waste this opportunity to make a
difference.