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DARPA Testing Deep Web Search Tool

DARPA, the US agency responsible for many high tech projects used to defend that country, and the creators of one of the internet’s precursors back in the late 1970s, is turning their attention to the problem of the ‘deep web’, hard to access, easy to hide websites and services maintained outside of the normal domain s where websites exist.

DARPA’s new idea to make it easier to track crime and other nefarious activities on the darknet takes some inspiration from what Google did a very long time ago when they first established themselves. DARPA will reportedly attempt to index the entire deep web, or most of it at least, which will create a private ‘search engine’ for deep web sites.

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If this works, security agencies, or whoever has access to the search tool, can track down sources of nastiness just by searching for them. This could render the secret internet world completely useless for those who use it to transmit illegal files and sell illegal merchandise.

The reported name for the project behind the search engine is Memex, which is pretty funny all things considered… you know, because memes. But it’s not just deep web services that Memex will be able to find.

A representation of the current way the internet and deep web exist.

Internet search engines right now only cover around five percent of the internet, however Memex will do away with some of the restrictions set on results. Page rankings and paid advertising, both products of a internet ruled by consumerism, will both factor mush less in Memex results.

Additionally, Memex will index sites on the Tor network, so it’s yet another nail in the coffin of the service, which was deemed no longer the safe haven it once was recently. It’ll be much easier to track the amount of websites on the network with the search engine.

Memex has been in the works at DARPA for over a year now, and it’s the first we’ve heard of the service, with DARPA program manager in charge of Memex, Dr. Chris White, announcing the project on news program 60 Minutes.

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The director of DARPA’s information innovation office Dan Kaufman also recently spoke out on the dark web’s activities.

“Most people on the internet are doing benign and good things,” Kaufman said. “But there are parasites that live on there, and we take away their ability to use the internet against us– and make the world a better place.”

Memex’s creation is undoubtedly all in the name of doing good, but of course it’s a bit of a concern for those who use the deep web for legal activities who still want the increased privacy the method previously offered. However, the pros do seem to outweigh the cons in this case.

Via: Wired

source: CBS News