Deep. Dark. Confusing. Must See.

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Ambassador Lode Kulik about 'Deep Web'

As if the film title Deep Web isn’t mysterious enough, the director chose The Matrix hero Keanu Reeves to narrate this documentary. It tells the story of the secretive marketplace called Silk Road. Where Users bought and sold hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services. And it gets more surreal. 

This film is actually about something much deeper than the Deep Web. The Deep Web is just all stuff that is on the web that search engines like Google can’t find it (but you and I can). It’s boring. The Dark Web however, refers to parts of the Internet that have been intentionally hidden and can only be accessed with special web browsers that preserve your online anonymity. And that opens up a whole new world (really). 

In this new world a marketplace was born called Silk Road: A place where anyone from anywhere could buy anything from anyone else. And while the FBI framed it as “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet”, there are many other ways to think about Silk Road or that what the Dark Web is, could be, or should be. 

Deep Web provides us another perspective, that of the alleged founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts a.k.a. DPR (the origin of this alias is explained in the film). In the film, Ulbricht comes across as an idealist who wanted to “let people see what it was like to live in a world without the ‘systemic use of force”. Rather than a criminal network, it portrays Silk Road (at least at its foundation) as a network of idealists. And while drug dealing took place on Silk Road, it arguably made the world a safer place keeping drug dealers and users away from the street and lowering the number of drug-related shootings and homicides. 

Ulbricht was arrested in 2014, and we follow the drama of his prosecution and trial. It becomes clear that today’s justice system is not capable of dealing with the fast-changing world of the digital age. How can we be sure who is who on the Internet, especially when we are talking about something so obscure as the Dark Web? 

There is so much secrecy and questionable decision making that I don’t know what or who to believe. Is it that wretched hive of scum and villainy that the FBI and the media want us to believe? Or is it our last hope for privacy and freedom as activists are telling us? 

The documentary touches upon so many different themes (personal tragedy, libertarian ideology, the digital age, the justice system, the war on drugs) that you are likely to walk out of the theater puzzled, looking for someone to share your thoughts with. It leaves so many questions unanswered. Tragic and alarming, confusing and oh so fascinating. Another true eye opener to go and see at the Movies that Matter Festival.

Ambassador Lode Kulik about 'The Deep Web'

As if the film title Deep Web isn’t mysterious enough, the director chose The Matrix hero Keanu Reeves to narrate this documentary. It tells the story of the secretive marketplace called Silk Road. Where Users bought and sold hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods and services. And it gets more surreal. 

This film is actually about something much deeper than the Deep Web. The Deep Web is just all stuff that is on the web that search engines like Google can’t find it (but you and I can). It’s boring. The Dark Web however, refers to parts of the Internet that have been intentionally hidden and can only be accessed with special web browsers that preserve your online anonymity. And that opens up a whole new world (really). 

In this new world a marketplace was born called Silk Road: A place where anyone from anywhere could buy anything from anyone else. And while the FBI framed it as “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet”, there are many other ways to think about Silk Road or that what the Dark Web is, could be, or should be. 

Deep Web provides us another perspective, that of the alleged founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht a.k.a. Dread Pirate Roberts a.k.a. DPR (the origin of this alias is explained in the film). In the film, Ulbricht comes across as an idealist who wanted to “let people see what it was like to live in a world without the ‘systemic use of force”. Rather than a criminal network, it portrays Silk Road (at least at its foundation) as a network of idealists. And while drug dealing took place on Silk Road, it arguably made the world a safer place keeping drug dealers and users away from the street and lowering the number of drug-related shootings and homicides. 

Ulbricht was arrested in 2014, and we follow the drama of his prosecution and trial. It becomes clear that today’s justice system is not capable of dealing with the fast-changing world of the digital age. How can we be sure who is who on the Internet, especially when we are talking about something so obscure as the Dark Web? 

There is so much secrecy and questionable decision making that I don’t know what or who to believe. Is it that wretched hive of scum and villainy that the FBI and the media want us to believe? Or is it our last hope for privacy and freedom as activists are telling us? 

The documentary touches upon so many different themes (personal tragedy, libertarian ideology, the digital age, the justice system, the war on drugs) that you are likely to walk out of the theater puzzled, looking for someone to share your thoughts with. It leaves so many questions unanswered. Tragic and alarming, confusing and oh so fascinating. Another true eye opener to go and see at the Movies that Matter Festival.

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ZOEKEN ALGEMEEN

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