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#MEMEX: .gov spyware for "deep web"

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Pattern_Juggled
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#MEMEX: .gov spyware for "deep web"

Postby Pattern_Juggled » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:03 am

Starting a thread here to collate information & resources on this subject.

SciAm article:

Other deep Web data comes from temporary pages (such as advertisements for illegal sexual and similarly illicit services) that are removed before search engines can crawl them

Must get removed really, really fast to beat the crawl-bots... which would make for a rather useless "advertisement for illegal sexual activity," one might surmise.


Some areas of the deep Web are accessible using only special software such as the Tor Onion Router, which allows people to secretly share information anonymously via peer-to-peer connections rather than going through a centralized computer server.

It's the new peer-to-peer Tor! Combine scary buzzwords, throw in a bit of FUD, & you've got psyops propaganda 101!


Evidence of criminals peddling such services online is hard to pinpoint because of the use of temporary ads and peer-to-peer connections within the deep Web. Over a two-year time frame traffickers spent about $250 million to post more than 60 million advertisements, according to DARPA-funded research. Such a large volume of Web pages, many of which are not posted long enough to be crawled by search engines, makes it difficult for investigators to connect the dots.

Two-hundred and fifty million dollars in two years, or $125 million per year on these super-transient, non-index "ads" that nobody ever sees? What websites are receiving this massive advertising revenue windfall? Where are these transient ads posted? What is supposed to be the point of non-indexed, transient advertisements in the first place? "Peer-to-peer connection" - what on this green Earth are these idiots talking about? Some super-secret .torrent-based, DHT-mapped advertising network so secret it's never been mentioned before?


In addition to targeting human trafficking, law enforcement officials are finding that they can tap Memex to crack down on other, related crimes, including trafficking in guns and drugs...

Aha, yes, the "human trafficking" veneer drops pretty quick and we're back to drugs investigations. That didn't take long.


One type of temporary page could be an advertisement for sexual services set up by human traffickers in a location on the Internet known to their customers but taken down before it can be indexed and found by law enforcement...

These magical, ephemeral "locations" where people advertise stuff and take the ads down so fast... only their 'customers' ever see the ads!. Magic! But: how do the 'customers' know where to look for these ads... if they appear and disappear so fast, without links and without Google finding them as well? Secret brainwave transmissions? Quantum ansibles? Maybe just pure bullshit - that's more likely. The "Bullshit Network."


When this handover happens, software components like the Web crawler, machine learning algorithms and graph analysis that can scour both the surface and deep Webs will be installed locally at law enforcement agencies. They will be connected to regular browser-based software that agencies and the general public would typically use, such as Firefox and Chrome. This would ensure that law enforcement could access the software from any Internet-connected device...

Don't you just feel safer already, knowing that the same cops who make a habit of shooting unarmed black men will soon have these spyware tools at their fingertips, with no oversight or need for any pesky warrants or legal framework? Yeah, safer - much safer.


We didn’t want to cloud this work unnecessarily by dragging in the specter of snooping and surveillance.” White and his team are finding there is more than enough public content to challenge them as they develop their tools to aid law enforcement and prosecutors...

Why would anyone want to "drag in the specter [sic] of snooping and surveillance" when discussing a secret, government-funded, cops-only snooping and surveillance tool? Really, that doesn't seem likely at all: it'd be like worrying about civilian casualties from mass drone assassination campaigns - pretty much a total mellow-harsher when it comes to unchecked government power. Boo hoo.


People, such as those running the underground Silk Road cyber black market, often use the dark Web to anonymously post content that may or may not be legal.

Ah, yes... the "human trafficking" veneer drops again. Careful there, .gov spinmeisters: your bullshit is leaking through the wrapper!


Dark Web sites have, of course, attracted DARPA’s attention because they are good candidates for human trafficking activity. As a result, White and his team are developing a “Dark Web crawler” that explores the Tor-accessible, peer-to-peer areas of the deep Web and has thus far done much to enlighten the researchers as to the extent of dark Web activity.

Yes, "of course," Scientific American the reason DARPA is after Tor is totally because... human trafficking. Is this supposed to be a joke - a dark joke, admittedly - or did the PR shop behind this propaganda campaign do enough A/B testing to confirm that the "average American" is ignorant enough to believe these lies if someone like Scientific American prints them with a straight face? Either way, disgraceful.


DARPA chose law enforcement efforts to disrupt human trafficking as a concrete cause around which it could quickly develop and deploy its new approach to searching the Internet. White is confident that Memex technology can likewise be applied to any type of investigative effort, including counterterrorism, missing persons, disease response and disaster relief.
[/quote][/quote]
Not because, you know, spin. Like, well, this article for example. No, not because of that. Because, rather... human trafficking! Right. Don't you feel safer now.


The patronising tone of this kind of bought-and-paid-for government propaganda is particularly difficult to swallow.

Most likely, what we've got here is a nicely-presented tool designed to act as a cleaning service for "parallel constructed" illegal NSA surveillance data that can't otherwise appear from nowhere in non-military, non-national security related domestic cases. So - ta-da! - MEMEX: it didn't come from Bluffdale... honest. It came from MEMEX (which got it from Bluffdale), so it's all cool.

A disgrace.

~ pj
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Re: #MEMEX: .gov spyware for "deep web"

Postby Pattern_Juggled » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:27 am

At least Kim Zetter over at Wired seems a bit less willing to parrot word-for-word the "human trafficking" spin as, prima faciae, the reason this spyware has been so heavily funded by the DoD & other related deep-spook entities:

The content on Hidden Services is public—in the sense that it’s not password protected—but is not readily accessible through a commercial search engine. “We’re trying to move toward an automated mechanism of finding [Hidden Services sites] and making the public content on them accessible,” White says. The DARPA team also wants to find a way to better understand the turnover of such sites—the relationships that exist for example between two sites when one goes down and a seemingly unrelated site pops up.


...and...

They also want use automated methods to analyze that content in order to uncover hidden relationships that would be useful to law enforcement, the military, and even the private sector. The Memex project currently has eight partners involved in testing and deploying prototypes. White won’t say who the partners are but they plan to test the system around various subject areas or domains... {boldface added}


Eight secret partners in a spy programme explicitly designed to aid the military in the context of civilian investigations... what could possibly go wrong?


The 60 Minutes piece wasn’t clear about how this was done and appeared to focus on the IP address of where the ads were hosted, implying that by tracking where an ad moves from one IP address to another could reveal to law enforcement where the trafficker is located.

Wow. Just... wow. Wasn't this some harebrained plotline on Law & Order: Special Bullshit Unit, or something?


He notes that the connection from the online ads to the real world is not always accurate every time or a one-to-one match. “But that’s why there are investigators and prosecutors involved to do interpretation and make decisions. DARPA just creates the tech and organizations adopt the technology to use it.”

White won’t say how much the program is costing, but says it’s comparable to other data science projects that have been funded at $10 to $20 million...

Yep, feeling much safer already.


It's a whole new class of software: automated parallel construction data-laundering tools. Yay.

Cheers,

~ pj
...just a scatterbrained network topologist & crypto systems architect……… ҉҉҉

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Re: #MEMEX: .gov spyware for "deep web"

Postby marzametal » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:47 pm

Pattern_Juggled wrote:Wow. Just... wow. Wasn't this some harebrained plotline on Law & Order: Special Bullshit Unit, or something?


*buries his face in his hands and laughs out loud* ohhhh Mr PJ... if I ever decide to commit suicide by getting married, you are the first on my list to be my best man... Your semi-tipsy speech would tear the roof off!? (especially if you look like your avatar).

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Re: #MEMEX: .gov spyware for "deep web"

Postby Pattern_Juggled » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:39 pm

DARPA-BAA-14-21: Memex

Synopsis
Added: Feb 04, 2014 2:36 pm

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting proposals for innovative research to maintain technological superiority in the area of content indexing and web search on the Internet. Proposed research should investigate approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.
The Memex program envisions a new paradigm, where one can quickly and thoroughly organize a subset of the Internet relevant to one's interests. Memex will address the inherent shortcomings of centralized search by developing technology for domain-specific indexing of web content and domain-specific search capabilities. Memex will develop technology to enable discovery, organization, and presentation of domain relevant content. The new search paradigm will provide fast, flexible, and efficient access to domain-specific content as well as search interfaces that offer valuable insight into a domain that previously remained unexplored.


DARPA-BAA-14-21.pdf
(369.23 KiB) Downloaded 507 times
...just a scatterbrained network topologist & crypto systems architect……… ҉҉҉

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pj@ðëëþ.bekeybase pgpmit pgpðørkßöt-on-consolegit 'er github
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