Memex: Science vs. Sex (your tax dollars at work)

DARPA big data vs. sex gangs: If you only knew the power of the dark side of the Web

darpa memex

Sex trafficers beware. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says it's getting good at scanning the mysterious 'Dark Web.'

If one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic, narrow view of Google. If you wish to become a complete and wise Web searcher, you must embrace a larger view of the Web. Be careful of Bing. Only through Memex can you achieve a power greater than Google. Learn to know the dark side of the Web.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers manipulate the midi-chlorians. Not to mention: R.I.P., Steve Strange

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

What is Memex? Katherine Noyes knows:

A “Dark Web” search engine developed by U.S. defense researchers is in the spotlight. … It could play a role in business.

The Memex program [is] a three-year research initiative to develop software for domain-specific [Web] search capabilities. … Stock analysts might use Memex to search the Dark Web for information relevant to the stocks they cover, for example.  MORE

And Elizabeth Dwoskin is in the game:

Memex is a different kind of search engine. … It’s being used to hunt down sex traffickers. … The effort to thwart it presents a data-science challenge.

[It] gives investigators a bird’s eye view of an industry that operates largely in the shadows.  MORE

So Kevin McCaney strikes back:

[DARPA] is leading a team of 17 contractors on the research.

BrightPlanetsays it coined “Deep Web” a dozen years agorefer[ing] to databases of non-indexed information that Google, Bing and Yahoo don’t get to. [They] cover, by some estimates, as little as 5 percent of what’s on the [Web] -- pages that want to be found.  MORE

Mark Mark Pomerleau's words:

The other 95 percent has proven to be a cyber safe haven for all types of illicit activity, from narcotics trade to illegal weapons. … Such marketplaces can be next to impossible to find.

One of the complexities of the deep web is that much illicit activity is not available long enough for search engines to “crawl” them.  MORE

But how much is all this costing us? Adnan Farooqui suggests a figure:

Dr. Chris White, Memex program managerdoes not reveal how much Darpa is spending on this project but hints that its about$10-$20 million.  MORE

Here are some Colm Gorey details: [You're fired -Ed.]

Whitesays that it willalso calculate hidden relationships betweenwebsites and any links they mayhave to illegal activities.

Wishing to keep its tech a secret, DARPA has not revealed any details of how Memex works.  MORE

Meanwhile, John Lacey bemoans Tor's descent from its original lofty goal:

Unfortunately the Tor network has become notorious for child exploitation.  MORE

And Finally…
Rest in peace, Steve Strange

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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