The Man Who Lit The Dark Web
“White’s Memex project would be a portfolio approach. Some tools would dive into the dark Web and present all the hidden onion sites to be found there as a list, something previously considered too difficult to bother with. Others would index and sort the enormous flows of deep and dark Web online forums (which are otherwise unsearchable). Others would monitor social-media trends, connect photos, read handwritten information, or strip out data from Web pages and cross-index the results into data maps.
In theory, White’s search-engine Erector Set could be useful for any number of real-world applications; as a DARPA project, they needed to prove it could be effective for at least one. Ideally, that test application would attack a real-world data-rich problem that could help investigators make the world a better place, and the country safer.
White decided to focus the Memex test application on helping American law enforcement target a crime he’d been shocked to learn about in Afghanistan and found ‘inherently horrible’: the buying and selling of human beings.”