"Darknets" are nothing new. The term refers to any sort of closed and private communications network. The most commonly used darknets in existence today include the file-sharing networks like Gnutella and Freenet as well as the network created by using Tor, software that implements "onion routing," a type of routing which bounces your communications through a distributed network of relays so web sites can't determine your physical location. Tor is well-known for allowing citizens of oppressive regimes to navigate around their country's internet filtering software and firewalls. It's likely that it's in use right now in Iran, as the protests over the presidential election results continue, having led the government to heavily censor the country's internet access.
However, the problem with Tor and other types of internet anonymizers is that they require a bit of technical know-how in order to implement it...that is, if you even know they exist. That's why what Veiled will offer is so...well...revolutionary. Even the least savvy internet users can use a web browser and that's the only "technical" savvy needed. There is no extra software required.
He and his fellow researcher, Billy Hoffman, Manager for HP Security Labs at HP Software, have also confirmed that encryption will also be built into the network to allow for secure and anonymous communications.
Although darknets are often used by online criminals to cover their tracks, the researchers would rather focus on the positive aspects of their software, noting that it could be used for secure whistle-blowing and other forms of free speech.
Image credit: flickr user Xeni