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DARPA’s Deepweb Search Engine Just Got a Lot Smarter

In 2014, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—or DARPA—announced a groundbreaking program for internet searches. DARPA developed the Memex Program to search the internet, including hidden services, and “any public domain content.” The program started, though, as a tool for discovering human trafficking. Now, according to VentureBeat, DARPA just boosted their glorified search engine.

On December 1, 2016, IST Research—a human security company—acquired Rescue Forensics (RF). Rescue Forensics, in their words, delivered “actionable human trafficking intelligence” to agencies worldwide. IST worked with DARPA since 2012, IST founder Ryan Paterson said. IST, Rescue Forensics, and DARPA’s Memex will now hunt for human traffickers with their combined internet skill set.

IST Research’s success majorly originated from their proprietary Pulse Platform. The Pulse Platform’s particular method of action remains classified, for the most part. IST Research summarized the platform in the Pulse section of the group’s website. “Pulse collects, analyzes, and visualizes both online data and data collected directly from populations of interest,” the site explained.

Rescue Forensics specializes in intelligence gathering, predictive analytics, and forensic data analysis. Paterson said that IST Research and Rescue Forensics collaborated on numerous occasions. RF most recently contributed to the conviction of two Baltimore men for conspiring to commit sex trafficking with a minor.

Law enforcement did not only contract IST Research on a case-by-case basis; they worked on Memex at a fundamental level. According to the press release:

Two years ago, IST Research was selected to lead two critical technical areas of the DARPA Memex program, with the mission to develop next generation of search technologies and revolutionize the discovery, organization, and presentation of search results. The San Francisco District Attorney’s office has employed Memex technology to explore vast amounts of data and identify critical connections within phone records, online listings and other information buried on the dark web. (IST Research – PR.com)

Paterson told VentureBeat that the study into human trafficking began with looking at simple advertisements on sites like Craigslist. As time went on, human traffickers became harder to detect. IST Research started the development of their Pulse Platform in conjunction with the Department of Defense. The platform is still partially sponsored, monetarily, by the Department of Defense.

DARPA spokesperson Rick Weiss told VentureBeat that deepweb networks offering human trafficking are often closely related to those “regionally destabilizing” networks. Specifically, those that provide weapons and drugs. On the clearnet, human traffickers use forums, advertisements, and even job listings. Memex, in conjunction with IST and RF, maintains configurable interfaces for tracking criminals across the globe. RF adds another element to the global assistance sector; the company exists worldwide.

In conclusion, DARPA’s Memex crawls the darknet and deepweb for child pornography and human trafficking. Memex utilizes data provided by IST Research to improve the algorithms and follow leads. IST data, when combined with Memex, can trace entire networks based on misspellings, different phrases, and often encoded messages. Rescue Forensics brings more intelligence gathering, predictive analytics, and forensic data examination. IST will incorporate the RF information with the Pulse Platform, and DARPA will use the Pulse Platform with Memex.

8 comments

  1. fat Aussie bastard

    just FUCK OFF, you maggots!

  2. Poor me, I thought human trafficking was done using the albanian mafia to kidnap british girls from greek islands or american tourists from french cities, and now I just learned that all is done using the hidden services of that dark web!

  3. Okay, they are using metadata. Yeah, it’s effective, UNLESS you are using encryption, and then, it’s worthless. Don’t dox yourself, which means do NOT post on any forums, whether public or DW, including, this one! Use Tails with Tor Bridges and the highest security settings available, including, the ‘Embeddings’ settings within NoScript (check everything). Round it out with a hardware encrypted USB drive for your Tails install and access via anonymous public Wi-Fi hotspots (which you should vary), spoofing your MAC address each time. Treat every hidden DW site as being compromised, and backend encryption (Tails persistent storage with a TrueCrypt volume within that) is an absolute must! Your passphrases should be at least 40+ characters long, consisting of Upper, lower, numeric, punctuation and special characters. Do NOT write your passphrases down anywhere, ever! Just practice them over and over and over!

    Only downloads, no uploads; purchases, and no selling. Leave those activities to the “experts”, or at least those who want to take the risks.

    • >”Your passphrases should be at least 40+ …. Do NOT write your passphrases down anywhere, ever! Just practice them over and over and over!”

      Hey 007, you either have shit for brains or think we are living inside video a game. First, I defy you to name a website that allows 40+ character passwords. Second, do you think anyone other than a retard savant can memorize a 40 character string that’s completely random? Maybe, MAYBE for 1 site, 1 password, beyond that, NFW.

      I am going to guess you were just trolling because no way is anyone this paranoid and a mongoloid at the same time!

      • Anonymous

        PASSPHRASE and NOT a PASSWORD.

        They are DIFFERENT.

        The idea here is ENTROPY. Here’s an example (do NOT use):

        “Megan & I went to &,M@ Steve’s house and watched H50”

        I was thinking along the lines of your Tails Persistent storage and/or TrueCrypt container; with respect to the latter, keyfiles are an absolute must, also; just 1 or 2 can make all the difference in the World! As for websites, Tails has that functionality built into it; just see their documentation for more details.

  4. Can I hack into this database and use it as my point of contact to see if my cronies are being honest with me? Who wants to worry about multi-tasking when I can use the government software?

  5. I wouldn’t trust anyone who develops software for a government, especially one like memex.

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