Uncovering the Dark Side of the world wide web
10/22/2000; 12:42:09 PM
'In an achievement that is almost the equivalent of the Human Genome project for the internet, a new Scottish software company has not only succeeded in plotting a map of the world wide web but has also uncovered its Dark Side....
'A team member replied: "Well, you'll first need to map all that's good and bad - an awesome challenge - and keep adding to it on a daily basis. Only then will you be able to trace, log and map what's bad in it."
'The next morning Whitelaw declared: "OK, let's do it. No matter what it costs."'
This implies more then most may realize:
- Accurate censorware: China recognized this and contacted the company (which they fortunately rejected). If you take a seed set of images you want to ban, and feed it into the map, it's fairly easy to start mapping out everything strongly related to those seed images. Give the computer enough time to explore the space, and you can accurately nail specific sites as being unacceptable, automatically, rather then the scatterbrained approach the companies are taking now.
- Accountability: One of the supposed great strengths of the Internet is the ability to post things anonymously. This goes a long way towards making that more difficult.
The power of a system that can truly relate various things on the net accurately is difficult to understate, if it's real!
Still, the skeptic in me wonders... with so many of the porn and other nasty sites behind passwords, can they really scan the "seamy underside" or just the publically accessible "seamy underside", a smaller subset? Could they nullify FreeNet's distribution protection? I wish I knew more about this company's procedures. They make a lot of grandiose claims, something tells me that they'd have a hard time backing them up.