One of the next future trends on the Internet will involve anonymity and being anonymous. Already with Google and other huge multinational monopolies tracking everything about us, it is becoming crystal clear that the ability to be anonymous and private is going to be one of the next big things. Companies that offer services related to privacy will grow, make lots of money and likely become the next multinationals in a decade or so.
Recently open source projects like Retroshare dating back to 2006 have seen sudden high spikes in users, as millions of people start investigating how they can be private on the Internet.
Even Wikipedia is confused as to what the differences are between darknet, dark internet and Deep Internet.
Usually when something is hidden and not discussed in the light of day, fact about that thing is hard to come by and when combined with leading edge technology and the creation of new technology then this demands new terms and new words. For example what is encrypted instant messaging called when you add private and anonymous to the mix together with on the fly and group to group but still directed at the specific device?
Dark Messaging of course.
Dark Networks are very useful, useful to governments, intelligence agencies, multinationals and criminals. But the time has come to take Dark, Deep and Dust networks and make the technology, functionality and usefulness available to Tom, Dick and of course Harry as well.
For simplicity sake I am going to call any hidden, obscure, protected, private, encrypted and generally unreachable network a Darknet as that is what it is. If I light up unused fibre at a specific time (dark fibre) and use it for an hour, it is still a Darknet. If the Vodacom 192. private ipv4 nework does not route new state TCP into it, then that Vodacom network is also a Darknet. It is what it is and it is pointless to start calling pigs cows as they are pigs and calling them cows will only confuse the issue.
Any network that does not allow new incoming traffic from the Internet is a Darknet, as that network is 'dark' to the public. So you small home or office network that does not generally allow anyone from the world to connect to it, is also a Darknet. Now if you add strong encryption to all traffic on your home network and you specifically exclude anyone from joining it that does not have keys, it is the same as you locking the front door to your apartment building and only people that have the key to the front door can actually come inside and then go to their own apartment and then again unlock that door.
The difference being of course that to enter your apartment you need two or more physical keys (or know what number to punch in on the numeric keypad) and to join a Darknet on the Internet you need electronic keys.
After the Cloud:
Of course the next generation Facebook or Google Plus will be an application that allows you and all your friends to share privately, exactly as you are sharing now, but instead of leaving your personal property, information, etc. on a public server somewhere you are in fact only sharing it with your group of friends. Inviting new friends is done with the same ease as it is done now and to un-friend someone works exactly the same way as it does now.
The difference will be enhanced privacy