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"Darknets": The Invention Of The Darknet, How It Compares To A Standard Intranet, And It's Potential Impact On The Public As A Whole.

988 words - 4 pages

Introduction.The ability to share private information securely over the Internet has proved to be quite a challenge in the past. The Internet was thought to be just too vulnerable and many people felt it could only be done with a localized intranet. Of course this prevents anyone outside the network to have access to the data. How can we have the security of an intranet on such an unsecured public Internet? How do we gain access to it? These questions may have been answered with the invention of the "darknet" and it is quickly catching on. For this essay, I will examine darknets in some depth and illustrate what makes them different, yet similar to a typical intranet. I will also shed some light on one of the emerging technologies that could take internal communications into the future. Before we can understand comparisons between intranets and darknets, we must first know their definitions.Definitions.Russ Haynal gives a great definition for the term "intranet" on a web-based article located at Reengineering.com. Here, the intranet is defined as, "...the latest term to describe when the Internet's protocols and applications are used, not for accessing the vast resources on the Internet, but for moving information within an organization's boundaries" [1]. So an intranet is basically taking all the aspects of the Internet, copying them, and making them available for use on an internal network. Intranets offer the security of a physical enclosure that cannot be accessed outside the network. The article goes on to use one of AT&T's internal applications as an example. They have a program called POST, which took their original employee information database and added a protocol interface to it. This greatly enhanced the employee's ability to have access to the database and it has become a great success for AT&T.An easy to understand description of a darknet is found in an essay co-written for the Microsoft Corporation by Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman. The article is called The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution and it defines a darknet as a "collection of technologies and networks used to share information" which are "not separate physical networks but application and protocol layers riding on existing networks" [2]. These applications utilize highly secure encryption methods and password protection to prevent any unwanted intrusions. Examples of darknets are peer-to-peer file sharing, CD/DVD copying, and password sharing on email and newsgroups. How is this compared to an intranet?Compare/Contrast.Based on the definitions, it is easy to see some similarities between intranets and darknets. They both are very secure ways to share information. They both almost always require some form of key or password protection to gain entry. Many of the protocols used to create both entities are the same. The main difference lies in the medium that provides the data transport. The physical wire that links a...

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