NASA is indexing the ‘Deep Web’ to show mankind what Google won’t

Understanding web technologies has become my latest obsession (which I think fits in neatly with my rediscovered enthusiasm for complexity studies and whatnot). One of the my favourite ranting topics is the segregated nature of the web UX – a term which for me is about more than the user interfaces, but the very processes used to enable discovery and information retrieval.

Hence why I found this article pretty well timed, in short.


There is a part of the Internet—most of it, in fact—that is hidden from Google. It is private, or illicit, or simply unknown. And NASA wants to help you reach it.

The space agency announced last month that it will join forces with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help make sense of that part of the Internet commonly referred to as the Deep or Dark Web. Most Internet users first heard about it, if they’ve heard about it at all, in the context of Silk Road, the now-defunct online drug marketplace that was hosted on a hidden Web service. Silk Road was only accessible using the anonymity-enhancing browser The Onion Router, or TOR.

Now, NASA’s mission to explore the universe includes the furthest reaches of cyberspace. “It’s uncharted territory,” Chris Mattmann, NASA’s lead on the project, told Fusion in a phone interview. In a press release, NASA explained that it will help DARPA…

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