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The Internet Crime Networking Privacy Your Rights Online

The Dark Side of the Web 156

Posted by timothy
from the reefer-madness-is-back dept.
Barence writes "Beneath the web pages indexed by Google lies an online world that few know exists. It's a realm of huge, untapped reserves of valuable information containing sprawling databases, hidden websites and murky forums. It's a world where academics and researchers might find the data required to solve some of mankind's biggest problems, but also where criminal syndicates operate, and terrorist handbooks and child pornography are freely distributed. Interested? You're not alone. The deep web and its 'darknets' are a new battleground for those who want to uphold the right to privacy online, and those who feel that rights need to be sacrificed for the safety of society. The deep web is also the new frontier for those who want to rival Google in the field of search." The melodrama is tempered, though: "The deep web isn’t half as strange or sinister as it sounds. In computer-science speak, it refers to those portions of the web that, for whatever reason, have been invisible to conventional search engines such as Google."
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The Dark Side of the Web

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  • by OrangeCatholic (1495411) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @09:14AM (#31463404)

    TFA:

    >terrorist handbooks and child pornography are freely distributed. Interested? You're not alone.

    No, actually, speak for yourself!

  • by celibate for life (1639541) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @09:18AM (#31463426)
    Good job! Now the FBI will know they don't need to monitor you, as you obviously abhor child porn and terrorism!
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @09:24AM (#31463460) Homepage Journal

    http://www.robotstxt.org/ [robotstxt.org]

    Says it all really, no need for a melodramatic "article" trying to draw parallels between the non indexed and page ranked portion of the net, and kiddie porn.

    Some of us just don't want google indexing out stuff on general principles.

    FX, types "brain tumour" into google

    up pops page full of links asking me if I want to buy a brain tumour on fleabay...

  • by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @09:42AM (#31463532)

    You must be new here. "Darknets" have been around since the start of the internet, and there's nothing necessarily illicit about it. Sure, some people take advantage of the privacy, just like some of our neighbours/colleagues/priests do, but that doesn't mean we put cameras in every house or monitor every phone call to catch the terrorists/kiddie-fiddlers/drug-users/speeding-drivers/child-punishers/blashphemers/etc. And if you're looking at websites rather than places or resources, you haven't even scratched the surface.

    Basically, people like to communicate online, but that doesn't give you (or Google) the right to index it or even access it just 'cos it's on the internet - whether you like it or not, it's their communications not yours. Don't see value in it? Don't spend your time there. Think it's illegal? Call the cops with details. Just like IRL.

  • About Privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javilon (99157) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @09:57AM (#31463590) Homepage

    The deep web and its 'darknets' are a new battleground for those who want to uphold the right to privacy online, and those who feel that rights need to be sacrificed for the safety of society

    Corporations, wealthy individuals and people in power keep their right to privacy. That's not good for the "safety of society". See the ACTA negotiation. Most of the calls about the future of society are made in a non transparent way, by corporations, the psychopaths that run them and corrupt politicians. If I don't keep my right to privacy ( and this looks like a lost cause) then I want them to lose it as well. I want a full public database with detailed information about every dollar owned and every move made by politicians and members of a corporation board. I want every government contract to be published on an easily searchable database. I want all meetings between corporation boards and/or government officials transcribed and published on another publicly search able database.

  • Re:Time Travel? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:03AM (#31463628)

    The american date format must die.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:11AM (#31463660) Homepage Journal

    there's next to zero informational value in this undernet

    Maybe you just didn't look in the right places.

    It's possible.

  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by srussia (884021) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:14AM (#31463688)
    Vast collections of literature (many, many LoCs worth) exist outside amazon.com containing esoteric theories, morbid historical narratives and subversive ideas.
  • by Brian Ribbon (986353) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:34AM (#31463810) Journal

    If child pornography is being freely distributed amongst anonymous networks of paranoid people, what is the problem?

    The vast majority of people who use onion routing are very cautious people, so very few will be stupid enough to leave a trail which could identify them (such as a payment) as doing anything which is seriously controversial or illegal. It would be absurd to suggest that anybody is going to profit from producing child pornography and distributing it through anonymous networks.

    If somebody produced child pornography as a "hobby" (instead of for profit, which would result in a swift arrest anyway), it's pretty obvious that the producer would produce the pornography for themself regardless of whether they distributed it. So again, anonymous networks are not contributing to a problem, nor is the alleged availability of child pornography.

    The majority of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are the parents of the child. If people genuinely wanted to stop child abuse, they would focus on protecting children from abusive parents. Instead, politicians and police chiefs tend to focus on matters which score politicial points and win votes; parents are not an acceptable target because they constitute a major component of the electorate. Claming to fight child pornography is much easier for politicians and police chiefs, as they will not lose significant support and they can easily claim a victory without any risk of being exposed as liars; after all, who is going to check the evidence?

  • by PietjeJantje (917584) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:58AM (#31463922)
    Why is this comment modded Insightful when the quote has been manipulated to give it another meaning?

    It’s a world where academics and researchers might find the data required to solve some of mankind’s biggest problems, but also where criminal syndicates operate, and terrorist handbooks and child pornography are freely distributed.

    At the same time, the underground web is the best hope for those who want to escape the bonds of totalitarian state censorship, and share their ideas or experiences with the outside world.

    Interested? You’re not alone.

  • Re:Terrorism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BluenoseJake (944685) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:04AM (#31463958)
    I find it amazing that you don't understand why. The US and it's allies have been fucking around in Middle eastern affairs for decades. I mean really, what in god's name made the UN believe that it was ok to throw a few million Jews in the middle of several different groups of people that hate them? Then the US helps arm them to the teeth, and supports israeli incursions into Palestine. The US also supported Iraq during the 10 year long war with Iran, and then at the end, Iraq needs help to rebuild, and what does the US do? Go fuck yourself Iraq. They did the same thing in Afghanistan, supplied the rebels with arms and training against the USSR, then dropped them like a hot potato after the war. The US then unilaterally invades Iraq in 2003, lied about the reasons, and proceeded to try to force their beliefs on the Iraqis, with no problem using torture to achieve their goals. I'd hate "the Freedom Loving People" too, if I was them. You're like the ultimate douchebags, take what you want, do what you want in the name of "National Security" and then leave your targets hanging, just like the douche that drops roofies in a girls drink.
  • Re:About Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by javilon (99157) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:35AM (#31464126) Homepage

    I agree with that, but the message people in power is throwing around is that privacy is a lost cause... for us.

    If they realized that in that case we are not willing to allow them to keep their own privacy and anonymity, they may change their minds.

    In fact, it may be a good idea to keep individuals privacy, but making institutions and corporations transparent.

  • Re:Time Travel? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @12:40PM (#31464538)
    Personally I think written dates should take the form year month day, ex. 2010 March 13th. Like decimal numbers.
  • Re:Time Travel? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @12:43PM (#31464568) Homepage

    If someone asks you when you were born, you don't say:
    "1964, 22nd, May", you say, "May 22nd, 1964" - which is the American format. Enough.

    I would say the 22nd of May, 1964.

    When someone asks you for the time, do you tell him in HH:SS:MM format? The units must be ordered either from least to most significant (dd-mm-yyyy) or most to least significant (yyyy-mm-dd). I don't care which you chose. But don't put the least significant unit in _the_middle_!!!

    See this horrible Open Office bug on the subject:
    http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=5556 [openoffice.org]

  • Re:About Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @12:58PM (#31464664) Homepage

    I want a full public database with detailed information about every dollar owned and every move made by politicians and members of a corporation board. I want every government contract to be published on an easily searchable database. I want all meetings between corporation boards and/or government officials transcribed and published on another publicly search able database.

    Before you ask for more intrusion of gov't into corporate affairs, step back and realize most corporations are small businesses owned by regular people.

  • If child pornography is being freely distributed amongst anonymous networks of paranoid people, what is the problem?

    The problem is that it offends people who love reading about these stories. Those who are not offended enough to really care will still go along with those who do for fear of being targeted. We live in a democracy, ergo the will of the vocal minority will make it illegal. Moreover, this same will leads to draconian restrictions and state surveillance of the internet and indeed the general population.

    The "problem" here is less the child pornographers than it is the people who go into irrational emotional meltdowns whenever someone mentions the password("pedophiles") and who then proceed in their hysteria to tear down the great society that has been built over the last 200 years. Child pornography is at worst an unpleasant nuisance. These crusaders on the other hand are a direct and immediate threat to our way of life--or at least what our way of life used to be.

  • by Iyonesco (1482555) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @01:24PM (#31464812)

    "Think it's illegal? Call the cops with details."

    You: "Officer, I was interested in these so called 'dark nets' so looking around I happened to find a website with child porn on it. Clicking about the site I found there were literally hundreds of images so I thought I best report it to the police."

    Police: "Please stay by your computer and we'll be around to arrest you shortly. Enjoy your 25 years in prison."

    I think you need to review the "Don't talk to the police" video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc [youtube.com]

    If you see a house being burgled, ignore it and continue on. If you see somebody being raped keep walking. If you see a child in trouble, absolutely never go near them. The last one is particularly important since children are the greatest risk to your freedom in the current political climate and should never be approached under any circumstances.

  • by kz45 (175825) <kz45@blob.com> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @01:53PM (#31465032)

    "If child pornography is being freely distributed amongst anonymous networks of paranoid people, what is the problem?"

    Because children are abused during the making of child pornography. You really don't understand this?

    "It would be absurd to suggest that anybody is going to profit from producing child pornography and distributing it through anonymous networks."

    I bet it still happens. Child porn is highly illegal and as a result, it probably has a high value on the black market. You could easily make payment arrangements outside the anonymous network (hell, some might even charge for access).

    "If somebody produced child pornography as a "hobby" (instead of for profit, which would result in a swift arrest anyway), it's pretty obvious that the producer would produce the pornography for themself regardless of whether they distributed it. So again, anonymous networks are not contributing to a problem, nor is the alleged availability of child pornography."

    If it allows anyone to pass around child pornography without getting caught, it does contribute to the problem. These people may have gotten caught if they weren't able to pass it around undetected.

    "The majority of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are the parents of the child. If people genuinely wanted to stop child abuse, they would focus on protecting children from abusive parents."

    We already do. Child protective services does a good job of investigating abusive parents. It's also not always the parent. Many times, it's a friend of the parents/family (or even siblings/cousins).

  • by Omestes (471991) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (setsemo)> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @02:04PM (#31465114) Homepage Journal

    Police: "Please stay by your computer and we'll be around to arrest you shortly. Enjoy your 25 years in prison."

    That has never happened to me. I've called the police three times over finding child porn online. The first time was in the mid-90's when I found some on a local (popular) BBS, and the police were concerned but utterly clueless on what to do. This was before they had an actual "cybercrimes" division. I don't think anything ever happened with that one. The second time I called on another complaint, they referred it up to the FBI, I don't know if anything ever happened because I never went back to the site again for obvious reasons. The third time, the local police took all my information, said thank you, and I never heard about it again. I'm guessing they handled it so nonchalantly the third time because they finally got their act together, and knew what to do.

    Never once did the FBI knock on my door, or the police harp at me or treat me like a criminal.

    If you see a house being burgled, ignore it and continue on. If you see somebody being raped keep walking. If you see a child in trouble, absolutely never go near them. The last one is particularly important since children are the greatest risk to your freedom in the current political climate and should never be approached under any circumstances.

    Are you a sociopath? If I saw any of the above I would try to help, especially in cases of direct harm, like rape and children in trouble. It is my civic, and human duty to step in. I couldn't sleep at night if I just walked away and tried to forget it. But then again I'm the type who stop and try to help injured animals, and swerve to avoid hitting squirrels.

  • Re:Terrorism (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 13, 2010 @05:30PM (#31466838)

    I mean really, what in god's name made the UN believe that it was ok to throw a few million Jews in the middle of several different groups of people that hate them?

    Up until the 20th century, the Palestinians did not hate Jews. Zionist immigrants (trying to get backing from the British colonial power), however, managed to change that in the early 20th century. And most people really don't like having *their* country signed over to someone else. I find it surprising how anyone could miss that it would lead to a permanent state of war.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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