Nearly 20 Percent of Dark-Web Visits Relate to Subjects Other Than Pedophilia, Study Finds


Nearly 20 Percent of Dark-Web Visits Relate to Subjects Other Than Pedophilia, Study Finds

Talk about faint praise…


Hey, one hundred percent of sites relate to pedophilia, if your mind is dirty enough. It’s like Rule 34, Jr.


o_0 I just don’t get it…

From the article - most of the results were actually communications from “botnet” computers infected with malware seeking instructions from a hacker-controlled server running Tor. Those were then discounted from the final result, whick leaves the 80% a much smaller real total.

(Still, you know, disturbingly high, but probably not surprising)

** edit - as I read more of the article, the headline become more & more out of sync with the actual findings. Disappointingly HuffPo headline there, Wired.


An idiosyncratic definition of “dark web”. Usually “dark web” (a synonym of “deep web”) just means any page that isn’t indexed or directly linked from external sources, and includes a trillion random commercial and dynamic web pages that are served up from open and accessible form submissions for completely innocuous reasons.

But I suppose the study author must have decided the phrase meant anonymizing proxy and content distribution servers that enable people to access information with no tracking or persistent public URIs. Even then the results are hard to believe – are there no other significant criminal pursuits on the web apart from pedophilia? How pervasive can that particular perversion really be? – but at least some non-zero percentage is plausible there anyway.


I don’t think its that its pervasive, but that its compulsive. If this is true, its my guess that its a relatively small number of people (vs the entire internet) visiting a whole lot, vs a giant number of pedophiles occasionally visiting…

Also a somewhat small percentage will be law enforcement (with legit reason, although unfortunately some others will be there for the same reason as most). I talked to a cop working internet child porn who had exchanged files with someone, thought he was building a good case, only to find out the other guy was also a cop who was thinking the exact same thing about him.


But using catch-and-release statistical methods, doesn’t it follow from that story that most people downloading child porn are law enforcement?

I wonder.

I also wonder about the results.

“We do not know the cause of the high hit count [to child abuse sites] and cannot say with any certainty that it corresponds with humans,” Owen admitted in a response to the Tor Project shared with WIRED, adding that “caution is advised” when drawing conclusions about the study’s results.

No kidding.

Tor executive director Roger Dingledine followed up in a statement to WIRED pointing out that Tor hidden services represent only 2 percent of total traffic over Tor’s anonymizing network. He defended Tor hidden services’ privacy features. “There are important uses for hidden services, such as when human rights activists use them to access Facebook or to blog anonymously,”


Whether it was the intended purpose or not, this will almost certainly lead to pearl-clutching intensifying, and at least a few politicians leading the charge to do away with Internet anonymity.

What, you have a problem with your government tracking your Internet usage? What are you, a pedophile? You don’t want law enforcement to have a backdoor key to your phone’s encryption, and you don’t want law enforcement to have blanket permission to search your phone without a warrant? You must be a pervert! You don’t like it that your ISP retains your emails for a year? Should we just save time and add you to the sex offender registry right now? You want to see pornography where women have a B cup? Sicko.

And if they outlaw Internet anonymity, people like Cory Doctorow will be outlaws.

Pedophilia is on the darknet now? This can be laid at the doorstep of how we handle these people. They’re sick, yes. But they know what’s going to happen to them when they go to prison, so they’re getting more sly about it. Maybe if we recognized that they were some truly sick people and were treated as such, we could do something about it.


This is just a lot of mileage over one “control room via trash compactor” scene. Though, we did want to see architects giggle.

Eh, go see the CCC archive or vid. for Gareth Owen’s presentation…lightning talks? Nope! (I’m not seeing it, anyhow.)
-Made a TOR node and captured links. Followed/crawled the links.
-Link sites seem to last days or weeks, tops.

zzpadfiles wrapping in disincentive landing pages also wrapping illegally harvested ivory, stilton cheese that’s from Wisconsin, ads for ‘turn you right round, baby’ etc. Dueling honeypots!

Maybe 100 Years of Solitude meets petapixel hardback of a childrens’ theater production of Sumanth Prabhaker trash-flushing (see Starship Sofa [FFF special] #333) stories.

Here’s hoping it’s all the volunteers for Chris Matthews using Poser until they decide to follow their own fetish.

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Let’s face it though, paedophiles probably aren’t even using the darknet…


Illicit content that’s deliberately hidden/anonymized/encrypted (typically through Tor) is commonly referred to as “dark web” as well these days. It’s just the name blurring a bit such that one part that’s a subset of the older definition now has taken the definition as well. I started noticing it around a year ago in popular media coverage of things like the Silk Road, so the term’s been used that way long before this study, these authors are just following a current convention for referring to that content, not doing anything special or making an actual error there.

But if police are doing it, it must be legit, right?

The police (state) argument for transparency easily cuts both ways. I’ll show them mine if they show me theirs. I am perfectly ok with ubiquitous surveillance - provided that it is actually ubiquitous rather than hierarchal. This means cameras in the boardroom as well as on the factory floor. That citizens can tap police cars and offices, government buildings, and any other public offices.


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