DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is working on a new search engine that would unveil the darkest corners of the ‘Deep Web’. Websites and URLs that are often hidden beneath the surface can now be found out to stop human trafficking, drug and weapon supplies.
Memex, which is currently under development by nearly 17 different teams, aims at uncovering the parts of not only the dark web, but also the Internet that is visible to Google search. Memex will help the law and enforcement agencies to discover existing criminal activities going on the dark web. Most of the URLs hidden in the dark web are somehow related to weapons, human organs, child pornography, drugs and more. Report suggests that the early trials have been focused on tracking the human traffickers, however, in the near future the technology can also be applied for doing good to the humans. It can help in finding the missing persons, disaster relief and more.
“The Internet is much, much bigger than people think,” DARPA program manager Chris White told “60 Minutes.” “By some estimates Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo only give us access to around 5 percent of the content on the Web.”
Memex, unlike the commercial search engines, do not work on the basis of popularity, in fact it returns the results that are commonly ignored by these search engines. Memex efficiently searches and reveal the pages hidden in the dark web that are often by used by criminals to carry out illegal activities. These URLs can only be used when in the TOR network.
As Memex is in initial stages of development and is currently being used to search for the human traffickers, White in a demo to “60 Minutes” said that Memex analyzes the advertisements for sex. “Sometimes it’s a function of IP address, but sometimes it’s a function of a phone number or address in the ad or the geolocation of a device that posted the ad,” White said. “There are sometimes other artifacts that contribute to location.”
However, Memex does not implement any hacking techniques to do the search. Instead, it visualizes the information that is publicly available but hidden from the naked eyes.