How law enforcement monitors the Dark Web

In today's open source roundup: Law enforcement is keeping an eye on the Dark Web. Plus: Is LibreOffice 4.4 the best version yet? And FreeBSD versus Linux

Law enforcement and the Dark Web

The Dark Web is something that most users might not be familiar with in their day to day use of the Internet. But law enforcement is certainly aware of it, and they are beginning to keep tabs on it in a number of different ways.

Jason Koebler reports for Vice on how law enforcement is monitoring the Dark Web:

Law enforcement and governments are increasingly trying to crack the anonymizing network Tor and the dark web crime rings that operate there. Now, a research group is suggesting that dark web monitoring should become a primary goal of internet governance bodies.

The dark web is still something of a wild west, but security agencies have increasingly spent lots of time trying to bring down sites like Silk Road. That doesn't sound likely to change anytime soon, and it seems like international governments may soon take a hard look at doing whatever they can to map everything that lurks just below the surface.

Mapping the hidden services directory

Customer data monitoring

Social site monitoring

Hidden service monitoring

Semantic analysis

Marketplace profiling

More at Vice

Max Eddy at PC Mag has a helpful overview of the Dark Web that's worth reading:

If our popular culture is to be believed, most people assume there's a place online where the worst of the headlines you read about drugs, money laundering, murder for hire, and vast child pornography rings are born. It's called many things, though "Dark Web" is the most dramatic.

Although it's true that this Dark Web exists, it's much larger and more diverse than merely these illegal activities. What's more, the same technology that makes it possible for such marketplaces to operate in secret is also protecting political dissidents overseas and hiding everyday Internet traffic from surveillance. It may be that this digital back alley is the path toward a more secure Internet.

More at PCMag

Back in 2013 Jake Hanrahan at the Sabotage Times used the Dark Web to see what he could buy on the Silk Road:

I’ve managed to access the Dark Web to see what can really be purchased on the notorious Silk Road website. Various British broadsheets have been recently hammering home the idea that it’s an Amazon for criminals, but whilst that’s true to a degree, there’s much more to it than that. Silk Road is a virtual black market with a community made up of of lunatics, gun enthusiasts, libertarians, drug users, arms dealers and, to be honest, some very interesting people.

Aesthetically, Silk Road looks like something you could create using Notepad and a fairly vague knowledge of HTML. This just adds to the intrigue of it though—it’s like the online equivalent of stumbling upon an underground clandestine chemistry lab. It doesn’t take long to see the appeal of Silk Road for so many of its users (reports suggest this number is likely in the hundreds of thousands). You can buy everything from genuine British passports, crystal meth and C4 explosives, to lock picks, .999 gold bullion bars, and flick knives disguised as house keys—all without stepping foot outside onto the street. Being a fully online service gives customers the reassurance that they’re not going to get bashed over the head and left with their pockets turned out upon purchase, which is most likely a big part of why Silk Road is so successful.

More at Sabotage Times

LibreOffice 4.4: The best version of LibreOffice yet?

LibreOffice 4.4 has been out for a while, and Igor Ljubuncic at Netrunner Mag has a full review of it.

Igor Ljubuncic reports for Net Runner Mag:

LibreOffice 4.4 is everything you could have hoped for, and then some. It’s beautiful. It’s streamlined. It has an improved UI, which offers much more intuitive work flows, resulting in an immediate boost in productivity. It comes with enhanced menus, a more intelligent way of working with styles, easier graphics, copy & paste options, a simpler method of polishing up presentations. Most importantly, it offers a genuinely good support for the proprietary Microsoft file formats, allowing you, for the very first time, to consider LibreOffice as the one and only office suite you’ll ever need.

I have never quite expected this. In fact, LibreOffice 4.4 should have been called 5.0, because it is that much better. Perhaps grander changes are needed to justify a full new release. Just think of the possibilities, if we got all this in a single dot revision. Imagine what will happen when LibreOffice finally matures toward the next large release. Seriously, the day of testing could not have turned out better. All the little things I wanted are there. Check. Everything purrs like a kitten engorged on baby seal livers. Check. Awesomeness everything, and I am searching for more fanatic wording to convince you that you should abandon all and everything you’re doing and start testing LibreOffice. This is a monumental release, and I only have absolute praise. Well done.

More at Net Runner Mag

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