Greetings, /g/entles. Could one of you folks give me some basics on how to ACTUALLY browse the "darker" parts of the deepweb safely? I feel like any schmuck who really believes they can waltz onto a clearnet site, download a browser, and then safely order drugs, hire assassins, or become a whistleblower is retarded.
There's got to be a whole lot more to it than that.
This, but also a VPN, if you connect directly to TOR your ISP can see you do it. That could have implications to people in some countries.
Tails>VPN>TOR and you are safe.
Steal WIFI with a long rang antenna if you want to be really sneaky.
Get tails or whonix on a virtual machine. You can boot the tails operating system from a usb drive, and its like you computer has never seen it after you log out of tails. Whonix is an alternative and it lets you download stuff.
90% of what u need to know.
Except it is that easy. I've been ordering drugs for the last couple years and making tons of money. You need a Tor browser (google it) and if you think anybody might ever try to track you, use a VPN. Then you need to get bitcoins, and you are free to use whatever services the dark net markets claim to offer.
Now just like eBay and craigslist, people can lie on the dark net, so make sure you read reviews, do some research, and don't be a dumbass. For the most part though, to get big time weapons (like assault rifles and RPGs) or to hire assassins, you have to have to actually know people. DPR was able to hire assassins because he, ya know, ran the silk road. My best guess on if you wanted to have access to services like that would be to lurk on their forums and become known. Chances are you'd probably have to become a vendor yourself in order to gain any kind of trust in those communities.
You don't really need a VPN. Some countries block access to the Tor network which is the reason for using a VPN, but a lot of organizations or private people host Tor bridges, which are something like a proxy through which you connect to the Tor network. Because everybody can host a bridge and they are not listed anywhere, they are pretty hard to block.
It is however a good idea to use a VPN or similar first to avoid anything like this:
This article also shows that technical anonymity is only the minimum requirement to stay anonymous. If you use any services with your real credentials in a Tor session, then assume that the whole session is not anonymous anymore (i.e don't login to fb in the same session as you're buying drugs).
From a technical point of view, just downloading the Tor browser and using it appropriatly (don't forget to enable NoScript) will be enough in most cases. There are exploits to track you and your IP, but they usually rely on compromised hardware and/or very specific cases where your connection goes through unpatched or compromised nodes, which is, or should be, very unlikely. But the average user doesn't need to worry unless they have a three-letter agency actively looking for tem.
I hope you launder your BTC first.
You forgot to mention that most tor bridges are known by the NSA and the chinese gorvernment(they ban tor there). So people should really use a vpn and not rely on compromised and under surveillance tor bridges.
Despite that the NSA or security agency of choice would need to control something like 70% of all Tor relays in order to accurately interpret the traffic. Tor is completely secure until then assuming that you don't fuck up.
Speaking of which, this video is always relevant in these threads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1q4Ir2J8P8
It's not so hard to compromise the Tor network by taking it over.
I am part of one of many european organizations funding Tor nodes and exit nodes. We have one server that hosts an exit node with a few gigabits which runs at around 150 to 200 euros per month. That server alone used to have about 5% of all Tor traffic going through it at any given time, and now it's just a little less. It's important to mention that there are way less exit nodes than regular ones, but the amount of servers you have doesn't play a role, it's the percentage of bandwidth and speed you provide of the overal bandwidth and speed that counts.
So in the end the NSA doesn't need to own 70% of the nodes, but 70% of the speed.
There is/was an exploit to de-anonymize Tor users using Cisco hardware, but I think it was a very narrow selection of hardware that could be used for that exploit.
Aside from that, if you don't trust Tor (and there are not many, but some reasons to do so), you can try i2p or go full paranoid and use a dedicated computer (with BIOS instead of UEFI) that you only use with a live disk on public/other people's networks somewhere geographically unconnectable to you (or use something along Freifunk or HAM Radio transmitted internet).
Tails>VPN>Tor along with a public wifi. Additionally all DNM are going to scam you at some point. Buy your BTC then tumble them into a electro wallet and THEN transfer them into your assigned BTC address on the DNM you choose. Always use pgp when communicating with a vendor. Just say fuck it and live your life.