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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
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Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)

Source | Guestbook
Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Questions Answers
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself? I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you? They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible? I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught? they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing? I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks. It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative! I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks! I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort? There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies. FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious? We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts. I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point. I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you? By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible... The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually... I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity? A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics? I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive? I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all. DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ? So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins? His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road? Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question? They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done. lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online? I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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[deleted] You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe? It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru! re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you. I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back? i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios? Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits? Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt. Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there? It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"? It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite? After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him. Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author? I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it? By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web? There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76 1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop. Yes, I wrote about them in The Darkest Web
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit? There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

Australian Senate: Blockchain will take over fintech in a decade

Link to Coingeek article - https://coingeek.com/australian-senate-blockchain-will-take-over-fintech-in-a-decade/
Blockchain technology will be the key to all financial technology (fintech) and regulatory technology (regtech) companies, a report by the Australian Senate has claimed. The report called for adoption of blockchain and other emerging technologies as the country faces its first recession in three decades.
The report was tabled by Senator Andrew Bragg, the chair of the Aussie Senate’s Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.
“As Australia faces its first recession in 30 years, it’s clear we need more jobs and the only way to do that is to embrace technology and become globally competitive. It is my hope this interim report can be seen as a series of quick wins: new jobs and more choice,” Sen. Bragg stated in his report.
One of the key technologies the report recommended is blockchain. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology are mentioned dozens of times in the report, which also projected that blockchain’s potential will hit $175 billion within the next five years, and $3 trillion by 2030.
The fintech industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of blockchain and is expected to lead in adoption of the technology.
The paper stated, “Most fintech and regtech projects will either be built predominantly on distributed ledger technology or blockchain or heavily using that within the next 10 years,” quoting Michael Bacina, a partner at Australian law firm Piper Alderman.
Sen. Braggs also called on the Aussie government to provide further clarity on how it intends on supporting software development in the country, such as through tax incentives.
Aside from blockchain, the Committee recommended a raft of measures that it believes can help Australia to bounce back in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. They include the creation of a body that will seek to root out anti-competitive behavior in the country and regular assessment of the country’s global competitive position.
The Committee believes that Australia can take over as the Asia-Pacific fintech hotspot, taking advantage of Hong Kong’s decline as a financial center.
Just days ago, an Australian food industry organization recommended the use of blockchain to fight fraud in the country’s food industry. In its report, Food Innovation Australia stated that blockchain could stamp out the widespread counterfeit products in the food and wines industry, which lead to $1.7 billion in annual losses.
submitted by BlockDotCo to u/BlockDotCo [link] [comments]

morning joe

Microsoft is committed to trying to buy TikTok's U.S. operations, after CEO Satya Nadella discussed a potential deal during a phone call on Sunday with President Trump. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) said in a blog post that it will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok parent ByteDance (BDNCE), aiming to complete negotiations by Sept. 15. "Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns," the company said. "It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury." The company's aim is to build on TikTok's popular user experience with adding privacy and security protections. The proposed transaction has gained the blessing of top Trump administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, as well as several Republican lawmakers, after the president's Friday night comments that he preferred a TikTok ban in the U.S. instead of a sale took all sides by surprise.
All eyes on U.S. payroll data
The U.S. July employment report, to be released this Friday, will have a binary flavor to it. If the jobs situation is consistent with economists' views, it should give investors more confidence in the economy's health while weak data will weigh on investors' near-term enthusiasm. Current consensus is a rise of 1.65M jobs, albeit a bearish drop of ~27% from last Thursday's projection of 2.25M. Congress is trying to cobble together another stimulus package but, unsurprisingly, Republicans and Democrats are at loggerheads over the specifics.
MLB draws strong TV ratings in opening week
Despite concerns over a truncated 60-game season and empty seats in stadiums, Major League Baseball's opening week has been a resounding success. Games aired nationally during opening weekend (July 23-26) drew more than twice as many viewers as a year ago. Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ESPN said that its first 12 broadcasted games averaged ~1.2M viewers, up 34% compared to last year. Fox Sports (NASDAQ:FOX) also enjoyed a double-digit rise in ratings. According to Michael Mulvihill, Fox Sports head of strategy and analytics, the strong start reflects pent-up demand and little competition from other major U.S. sports. The season, though, is facing its first stern test after 18 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19 leading to the cancellations of certain games by several clubs. 17 games have been postponed to date.
Fed to "relax" approach to managing inflation target
The Fed is preparing to abandon its long-held practice of raising interest rates to preempt overheating in the economy, citing persistently low U.S. inflation. Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at the shift in a news conference last week when he disclosed that the central bank would soon complete a comprehensive review of its policy-making strategy. The change is unlikely to alter much since interest rates are barely above zero and are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future. Longer term, central bankers, economists and investors expect rates to return to a more normal 4% or so once the economic recovery/expansion has matured.
Trump readies action against Chinese software firms
During an interview yesterday on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Trump will announce new action this week against Chinese software companies that he perceives are threats to national security, including TikTok and WeChat that, he says, are "feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party." In a separate interview, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin declared that "we are not keeping TikTok in its current form." The expected actions will be the latest salvo in the deterioration in U.S./Sino relations.
Apple sued in China over voice assistant patent
Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Company, known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit in a Shanghai court against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) claiming infringement on a patent covering a voice assistant similar to Siri. The company seeks 10B yuan ($1.43B) in damages and, if successful, could prevent the tech giant from selling many of its products in China. In late June, China's Supreme Court ruled that Xiao-i owns the patent which ended a process that involved several trials since 2012. It is the third time in less than a decade that Apple has faced trademark and patent challenges in its #2 market (behind the U.S.). The company has yet to comment on the matter.
U.S. COVID-19 pandemic in new "widespread" phase
According to White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, the pandemic is in a "new phase" that is different from the March/April period with "extraordinarily widespread" cases in both urban and rural areas. Reemphasizing the essential role of wearing masks and distancing, Dr. Birx said, "To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus and that is why we keep saying, no matter where you live in America, you need to wear a mask and socially distance, do the personal hygiene pieces." She also says super-spreading events are the main concern, not super-spreading individuals. Per Johns Hopkins case tracker, U.S. infections are now over 4.6M with over 154K deaths.
GOP and Dems tussle over fourth round of U.S. stimulus
Talks between Republican and Democratic leaders over the specifics of the latest round, the fourth, of economic stimulus are proceeding down the familiar contentious path. Both sides agree on sending $1,200 checks to most Americans but the GOP is apparently balking at a boost to unemployment insurance which was set at $600 per week but recently lapsed. Democrats want to preserve the $600 amount while Republicans want to cut it to $200 due to cost concerns. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is accusing President Trump of standing in the way of a deal. On Face the Nation yesterday, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, "I'm not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term."
7-Eleven to acquire Speedway for $21B in cash
Seven & i Holdings (OTCPK:SVNDF) indirect subsidiary 7-Eleven has agreed to acquire Speedway from certain subsidiaries of Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) for $21B in cash. The Enon, Ohio-based chain operates ~3900 convenience stores in 36 U.S. states. The transaction, which includes a 15-year fuel supply agreement for about 7.7B gallons per year, should close in Q1 2021.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI hits nine-plus year high
The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index hit its highest point since 2011, lending more credence to inklings of a recovery there. China's official PMI rose to its own four-month high last week, and it's got a bigger sample, focused on larger state-owned companies. Caixin focuses on smaller manufacturers, and it hit 52.8, the third straight month it was over 50, signaling expansion.
Rio Tinto sues Australia's Monadelphous over 2019 fire
Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) has sued Monadelphous Engineering Associates (OTCPK:MOPHY) over a fire at Rio's Western Australia iron ore processing facility last year. Monadelphous says Rio is claiming MEA breached terms of a contract, and that Rio is seeking A$493M (about $351M) tied to its inability to process iron ore at the plant during repairs.
What else is happening...
Siemens Healthineers (OTC:SEMHF) merges with Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) in $16B deal.
SpaceX (SPACE) and NASA splashdown breaks 45-year drought.
Blackstone (NYSE:BX), TPG rejigger REIT debt to sidestep margin calls.
Iran stock market hits record high despite sanctions and battered economy.
Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +2.24%. Hong Kong -0.56%. China +1.75%. India -1.64%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.56%. Paris +0.97%. Frankfurt +1.86%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.05%. S&P +0.10%. Nasdaq +0.52%. Crude -1.32% to $39.74. Gold +0.02% to $1,986.30. Bitcoin -0.75% to $11,164. Ten-year Treasury Yield +1.3bps to 0.549%
Today's Economic Calendar 9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index 10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
submitted by upbstock to Optionmillionaires [link] [comments]

The TRUE story of yesbackpage/bedpage/ebackpage/afterdarkads and all the BP replacement pop ups written by an insider

Thisa is not an ad... I am responding to about 50 emails I got from a lot of sexworkers all over the country. 2 suggested I post the answers here. A LOT of sexworkers have lost money, been ripped off, ads deleted, and more... I am only trying to let them know what happened... I removed any actual links to sites. THis is just for sexworker information and reference.
There are so many rumors and so much misinformation out there regarding all the backpage popup sites... I think its time that someone tell everyone what is REALLY going on.
First, who am I and how do I know all this. I worked for backpage, I started with the village voice, and long story short, I ended up working in the alternative payment section. I left to form my own company, and have since been involved with several startups, including yesbackpage, bedpage, ebackpage and afterdarkads
I started with backpage in 2011 when craigslist was still king. a $5 ad could get an escort a shit ton of calls, and you needed not much else. escorts.com was still up, and really only higher end girls and agency's were on eros.
when craigslist shut down, traffic to BP jumped 10,000%... it was nuts. we lost servers, it was insane. before this it cost an avg of .25 cents to post. within a week we were at $3 in most cities.
Soon after the state AG's (we called them the gang of 11) turned attention to us. There was 11 states atty generals seeking to shut us down, like they basically did craigslist.
well our bosses (Dan Hyer, and ultimately Carl Ferrer) decided to fight. They were real 1st amendment libertarian types... and frankly I agree with them. I think there might of been better ways... but the REAL top guys Michael Lacey and James Larkin were fighters.
IN the end this put us on the skyline, and led by Tom Dart, a sheriff in Chicago, they ended up getting the credit card processing shut down.
That's when my work really started.
We went through and picked a lot of accts that we "trusted" and had spent a lot with us... we secured credit card processing through dummy accounts, and let those specific accts still pay through them... but between charge-backs, and people turning us in on those accts... we would lose almost as much as we made. Hiding the accounts was really pushing legal limits... and eventually we ran out of ways to get new accounts. They couldn't handle the volume.
Me and another fella I'll call "T" devised the idea to accept bitcoin.
It was a slow start, and teaching sex workers how to use bitcoin was tough... but it took off.
Then came backpagecredits. A strip club owner from myrtle beach heard about all this and built a website called backpagecredits.com he allowed people to buy bitcoin from him with a credit card... and the site would automatically put the bitcoin in your backpage account. This was HUGE, and we all did millions in business... it kinda saved the site...
Then april 2018 came... the feds seized backpage, and that was that. We were all out of work, lot of people were going to jail. The strip club guy sold off his end of the site and went to prison for other stuff...
Well I had moved overseas, so I was not subject to US law. I contacted a programmer I knew in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A real shitbag named Siddiq Khan. I did not know what a criminal POS he was then... anyway, I asked him to set up a new site, a clone of backpage. He did it. it took a few weeks, but he showed me "yesbackpage.de" (yesbackpage.com redirects to it)
Our agreement was we would split it all 50/50, I knew he had worked on the programming side at backpage for a bit, and was interested in doing something together. I trusted him (mistake)
I then contacted the new guys that owned backpagecredits, and brought them on as a payment processor...
We then contacted ALL the old BPC customers, told them about the new site... and BOOM... it was online and running.
I worked hard to market it... I hired Risa Jenner from vegas to help... it was all solid and good stuff. We gave away over $250k to old customers of backpage that lost a lot of money when it was shut down. We gave a lot to charity, we tried to help the sexworkers in the industry. We thought we were doing good work for sexworkers.
Now while I was doing all this... what I didnt know was siddiq had also built ebackapge, ibackpage, onebackpage, and I dont know how many other clone sites... and every time there was a new customer on YBP, he was copying the act over to the other sites... he was taking ALL the money from the other sites... real scummy shit. He used us to grow them... stealing everything and doing a lot of shitty stuff to customers (more about that below) afterdarkads.com didnt exist yet... tryst.link was in its infancy and had not taken off... and that alligator site from Australia was too busy bashing everyone else online to promote themselves
Siddiq had worked with bedpage back in the day, bedpage was a site that just knew that backpage was not gonna last forever, they actually opened long before backapge was closed... I still think it was a few other backpage employees that started it..thats how he knew all the ins and outs of these style sites... but he was fired. After talking to them, I guess Siddiq got caught fucking another dude in the break room closet... they really dont like homosexuals over there, so they kicked him out. Thats when he contacted me about starting our own site. He needed help marketing.
Anyway... he was bedpage, now hes got all these other sites, and I dont know about ANY of it... the only site I knew he was affiliated with was yesbackpage and me.
SO yesbackpage starts doing really good. I am spending a LOT of money marketing... and we get it to be the top result in google for sexworkers to post on... people are starting to book a lot of calls... things are good...
Then siddiq finds out that he can make a lot of money posting fake ads... and directing traffic to sites like ashley madison or cam sites.
I told him this was a bad idea... that if he does this... it makes the REAL customers spend more money to compete... thats screwing them...
He does not care, and tells me to fuck off... he will do what he wants.
We argue... it is half my site after all... and one day I wake up, and I am locked out... I cant log into the admin panel... backpagecredits is all screwed up ( he destroyed the code), and he stole the email that we used to run the twitter account. He starts posting BS on twitter about ex employees... its a total mess.
So I left again, and I am done with the industry. I am living back in the states for now, and running a t-shirt company and some other ecommerce sites online... doing well... recently a few people found me that are starting a new site. They are a group of former sex workers from Charlotte and Dallas... GOOD people. they started "afterdarkads". I am working with them as a consultant and helping get them going. Risa is done with it all... I think shes working with a strip club in vegas now.
Anyhow... here is the truth about how all these sites came to be.
Bedpage really DID give out a "god" password to a lot of law enforcement agencies... I talked to a girl in Texas that actually was arrested, and they logged right into the act in front of her. Siddiq told me about it, I know its true.
A few of the other sites like ebackpage and onebackpage siddiq sold to other spammers in Bangledesh... they are all over india and Dhaka. He has NOTHING to do with afterdarkads.com so there is that
All the while, you are paying to post your ads and keep them visible, (bump your ads and repost) Siddiq is posting his own ads for free... they use YOU to bring in traffic to the site, but then redirect the customers off to ashley madison or other sites so they can make money. Right now they get $150 for every sign up... if they post 100 ads, they will get a hundred sign ups... its unreal... meanwhile REAL sex workers are paying to post ads like crazy so their own ads are visible. Thats why I liked working with afterdarkads, they at least will not allow fake posters. they are real sex workers and they get it... they also made it free to post, only charging for upgrades. They care about sexworkers becasue they are sexworkers. Same with Tryst they are working hard for the community. I dont agree with a lot of their choices... but they are doing a good job. I honestly think they will be the next to fall. They have become the tallest tree in the storm Eros is pretty much done, those poor fuckers are on the run. Offices raided, moved to Eur
One thing all sex workers should look for, is the verified feature...bedpage and afterdarkads.com both have it, but i think bedpage will let anyone get it without any verification.... I know (at least for now) afterdarkads is really "verifying" the girls. A LOT of customers on bedpage liked this... so hopefully other sites start using it as well. For a few bucks extra they put a green "verified" logo on your ad... they contact you to make sure you are a real poster not a scam or spammer, and if your pics look fake, they contact you and ask for a pic proving it with you holding up a paper with the site name afterdarkads on it. verifiedvixens tried the same thing... but they were charging too much.
I hate that so many sexworkers support siddiq and all his spam sites like yesbackpage and they dont even know it or what they are doing... he literally rips you all off every time you post.
Go look at your acct history.. he has a program that deletes a few dollars from the acct every few weeks... just a $1 at a time... this is just to get you to buy more credits more often... and the math on posting?? lol... it does not ad up... the system always adds money to the cost at checkout when posting... all just to fuck you.
It is my understanding he sold one of the sites to a group that was trying to do it a little better, but I dont know for sure.
The only SAFE sites I know to post on are tryst.link, afterdarkads.com skipthegames.com, and escort alligator. Slixa.com I am hearing a LOT of things from my former coworkers at BP... slixa is supposed to be compromised... but I dont know that for sure, and frankly dont want to start MORE rumors... I dont like the site from a clients perspective much... from a advertisers perspective its ok. They do great marketing.
Tryst is gonna have problems because they are acting like they are in control... telling you what you cant say in your ads that offends them (everyone so offended these days) like now you cant refuse to see AA in your tryst ad. Total bullshit.
afterdarkads.com is free and they are really serious about keeping fake posters of the site. That is huge to me, same with Tryst.link ... they are really committed to verification of every user, although they are far from free... they use a site called adacredits.com to allow payment, and its ok. I like the sites that have simple CC payment better, but the industry is not gonna allow that easy for a long time in the US
both afterdarkads and tryst and skip the games are all getting AWESOME reviews on usasexguide.info and in a few other boards.
yesbackpage is hopefully done... I hope that fucker gets a disease and dies for what he is doing to sexworkers... but in the mean time, almost 100% of the ads are all fake... soon the clients will realize it... if enough of you spread the word.. it will die. Dont waste your money competing with fake ads!
another thing that sucks about what yesbackpage and all the other sites are doing is it scares off clients... these guys are lookin for real posts from real sexworkers... when 99 out of 100 ads are all fake, designed to collect cell numbers or emails... or direct you to fake cam sites and other shit... they stop searching like this... I know a LOT of agencies and pimps are all sayign business is booming because sexworkers are being FORCED to come back to them to book calls.
support the sites that support the community guys... not the ones that exploit you and fuck you over.
in the end what I really know about this industry... you need to advertise on as many LEGIT and safe sites as you can... every ad dollar you spend needs to be an investment that brings a positive return... be careful posting on sites that charge but screw you over... and just be careful period... there are a lot of shitty people out there , and they love hurting sexworkers.
be safe and be well all!
submitted by jennersteve2 to SexWorkers [link] [comments]

Advertising for Escorts post backpage

This is general advice and my opinions They are based on many years of experience. ... and to be CLEAR, I am in no way affiliated with any of the sites running today or mentioned here. I don't make ANY money from them... I could care less if you take the advice or shit all over it. This is not an advertisement for any one site... It is my opinions based on my experiences in this industry. I have made a LOT of money in the industry, and made a lot of other people a lot of money. There are good and bad things about every site out there, some I recommend here, others I will shit on, but I make nothing, own nothing, am not affiliated with any of them.
I have often been asked a LOT of questions by people looking for advertising and website help. I decided this was the best way to answer all the questions and help the community.
I hope you can learn something from this that helps you as you advertise or even better keeps you safe..
I worked for backpage for a long time, I helped start the bitcoin payment side of the site, I also helped start one of the backpage replacements. I have consulted on 2 other clone site startups, and to top it all off.. I owned a escort agency on the east coast from 2003 to 2011.
I owned my agency with 2 partners, I kinda fell into it. They needed computer help, I was a computer and marketing guy.
SO through all of that I am pretty sure I know a LOT about advertising for sex workers and the industry in general.
For Escorts and sexworkers things are very different in today’s post backpage.com and SESTA/FOSTA world. These changes and new laws are having serious effects on advertising adult services.
Here are a list of things to consider: Many of us remember Escorts.com, and Craigslist. Those were really the only places a SWr needed advertise. A simple $5 ad on Craiglsist could make an advertisers phone ring for days. A single ad on escorts.com could fill a schedule for weeks. Then Eros got big, it became as good if not better than escorts.com quickly, most often attracting the most quality clients.
Our Agency's used all 3, escorts., eros. and CL. At the time backpage was a shit site we didn't bother with... there were a FEW other sites we listed links to our own websites on, like southerngfe.com or openadultdirectory.com and a few others... more for SEO than anything else... they didn't bring much.. CL was all we needed. ECCIE was not big at all in our region then, so we never really used them.
Then it all started to change… CL took down the Adult services section. Escorts.com was raided and shuttered.
Backpage became king. I remember people paying just .25 cents to post an ad for a week on BP, then just days after CL closed it was $3? I had started working for Village Voice by then as a consultant, and was there when CL closed...
I got calls from my partners... usually by 1pm we had booked a few calls in each city (we were in 3) and had taken several dozen calls asking prices... we had booked ZERO that day and taken less than 5 calls... ALL from our website and google searches... our CL ads had not made phones ring once... they kept testing the phones... they all worked.
Then word came through from my office at BP that CL had pulled the plug... they put a big "CENSORED" label over the adult services tab... a few days later it was gone.
After the smoke cleared, there was only a few places you really needed to be on... cityguidex.com, eros.com, ECCIE (in certain regions) and backpage. That was it.
THere were a few other sites... and they were more regional... this is 2010/2011 I am talking about...
The only place a escort REALLY needed to post an ad was backpage… if another site popped up, the rule of thumb was simple… if no other SW’s are posting there… don’t bother… its not worth it.
Now lets be honest.. there are advertisers that could make a very nice living and book a lot of calls from just backpage... and there are the ones that would never could never... These were advertisers that had their own sites, charged upwards of 500/hr and did the fly me to you type stuff...
very few advertisers doing 150h/h calls off backpage have websites... we all know what I am talking about if you have been around at all.
During this time for the most part , Agency's in most citys started going out of business...
this was for a few reasons... 1. the yellow pages DIED! Smart phones KILLED the yellow pages. NO ONE USES A PHONE BOOK ANYMORE!! It cost a min of $10k up front to put even a small ad in the yellow pages... the agency's that could and did had ruled the escort world since the 80's... if you were a sexworker you worked for an agency because you couldn't get calls otherwise...(generally speaking)
suddenly CL and other sites like it made it so ANYone with a cell phone could run their own agency, or even better, go "independent"
And the indys and the independents and the internet sites like CL and backpage killed the agency's.
Clients looked at the math like this... lets say an agency charged $200/hr... the girl was usually getting a 50/50 split, so she took 100. They would then "charge" a tip of an avg of $100... so the girl got 200, the agency 100.. and the guy was out 300... but that same girl could post an ad saying 175/hr with NO upsell... and although yea... she made 25 less... she would book 10 times the calls and not have to split shit... guys wanted to deal direct to save and get more "bang" for their buck.. (pardon the pun)
So the internet was suddenly swamped with independents... at about the same time CL was king and then died... it was a crazy time... suddenly all these independents need a place to advertise, because its back to the agency's (pimps in a lot of cases) if they cant get calls... very few were gonna start their own websites, and if they did... how do they drive traffic? Backpage filled the void. ECCIE grew as did a few other sites
Again, I was working with them by now... and it was retarded. "Craigslist alternative" was one of the top google searched terms in the WORLD in sept 2010 when CL closed... think about that.
Of course BP starts charging more... and more... and more. They offered more features.. charging for all of them... and now it was a crazier time... all the other sites are either crap or being shut down. Eros was super expensive, and wanted your DL licence and more...
SO BP was king! But we all remember how that went... and come April of 2018.. BP is gone, and then the real shitshow started.
Bedpage.com, Onebackapge.com, Ibackpage.com Ebackpage.com backpage.cl the site I helped start with the backpagecredits.com guys was yesbackpage.com, then skipthegames.com cityguidex.com slixa.com tryst.link there was some gator site out of Australia, afterdarkads.com, eros.com had a knock off.. DOZENS of sites and I cant remember how many others have popped up and died in the past year... its been insane. I consulted on afterdarkads.com for payment systems, and they are doing great. Others are dying. ECCIE is doing better than ever
And ALL of the rules you thought you knew about advertising are gone.
Since the demise of backpage, there are literally dozens of sites popping up all jockeying to be the next backpage. The truth is… it will never happen. Some will have more success than others, some will fold, some will remain… but the new reality is there are now be dozens of places to advertise. I helped the girl making verified vixens... she has already shut down for a few months because she is underfunded and cant market the site right. (she says she will be back... it was a GREAT site)
The rule of thumb was that if you saw a site that you could advertise on, and there was no one else in your city/region... dont bother. ESPECIALLY if you had to pay...
So now, when you find a new site, and there is just a few ads you figure are fake there… should you ignore it and move on?
NO! advertising today is a different animal. An advertiser needs to have as many ads up in as many places as possible… and most importantly, needs to think and act like a client.
We here in the industry knew an hour after backpage closed… we were searching for alternatives immediately. There are clients out there that look for an escort maybe 1 time a year on vacation, or the guy that found his regular SW’r on backpage 2 years ago… and now is looking for a new one… they are searching for “backpage alternative” or “backpage replacement” (according to google analytics those are the TOP search terms related to sex work and backpage since April 2018) they are searching craiglslist personals replacement, or "new backpage" ...
You need to be on the sites that come up in those results, EVEN IF THERE IS NO ONE ELSE SMART ENOUGH TO POST AN AD THERE!!! The clients are searching using those terms…and dozens of others, and they are browsing the links they find… and they are not finding you! Why is that? You are not thinking like a client… you found bedpage… saw there was a ton of ads… and figured that if everyone else is posting there… I should as well. Bedpage used a bot to crawl backpage in the weeks before it closed, and copy/pasted the majority of ads it found to bedpage… MANY advertisers report getting calls and finding their ads posted on bedpage… and they did not create an account or post. MOST of the ads you are PAYING to compete with are fake... clients know it.. they are moving on from those sites FAST.
Sites like bedpage use to be having lots of success… they had a LOT of posts, and word got around to advertisers fast… BUT THE CLIENTS DIDN’T GET THE WORD! Yes, dedicated sex mongers that search for escorts daily know… and the guys that spend time on the boards and in forums know.. but the MAJORITY of clients are the guys that MIGHT call one or 2 times a year… they have never heard of usasexguide.nl or the otherboards.com… they are doing something simple… typing in backpage… finding its gone… then going to google, and typing “backpage alternative”.
And here is the next issue, Bedpage, ebackpage, ibackpage, yesbackpage… they all have a similar problem, they attract the WORST customers. The calls and texts looking for a $50 blow and go all come from sites like them. The guys that DO crawl through the dozens and dozens of fake ads end up just blasting texts to every phone they find (even tho you said no texts in the ad) 3 am msgs that say "hey" or even worse.. "blow me in my car for 50$" after demanding pics to "prove" you are real...
Advertisers today need to get on as many sites as they can. Get on all of them... ESPECIALLY the ones with hardly any ads. The unfortunate byproduct will be you will get those shitty messages.. part of the price you must pay for being in this industry...
Here is why: 1. Branding... Most of these clients are searching on dozens of sites for an escort... if they see you on afterdarkads.com, AND on tryst, AND then on eros., then AGAIN when they kick back to afterdarkads.com, AND then AGAIN when they find slixa.com ... and THEN they FINALLY decide to book.. was it really the ad on slixa that really did it? Or the fact they saw you everyplace and it helped him know you are real, not a fake ad? Was it the ease of finding your ad on a site like afterdarkads.com because they only had to sort through 5 or 6 ads? What was it that made him book? Do you REALLY think having just ONE ad on bedpage, because that's where everyone posts is the best idea? It was because he saw you over and over he was BRANDED and eventually booked.
Branding is this, what do you clean your ears with? NO, not q-tips... its a cotton swab, you have been branded. WHat do you blow your nose with? NO, not kleenex... its a tissue... you are branded. Whats "The best part of wake-ing up.......? its WHAT in your cup... yea.. its coffee.. but you just said Folgers... BRANDING... get in front of ALL the clients as often as possible... BRAND them to think of you when they think of an escort.
The MAJORITY of clients are searching for an escort or hire escorts just a few times a year... they have never heard of all these sites the way we have... a few years ago 1 ad on one site was all you needed... now escorts need 30 ads on 10 sites. Its the way it is.
  1. Simple odds... there are 20+ new sites online... if you are on just 3 of them.. what are your odds that perfect client looking for a girl/guy just like you finds you? Be on all 20 and your odds are much better. There are plenty of clients seeking a sexworker or escort that are only finding escort sites like afterdarkads.com or slixa.com , etc right now for the first time... and in most cities there are just 1 or 2 ads... the bigger cities a few more... if you posted a free ad on there last week.. that you didn't even need bump or pay to feature... he WILL find you... BUT, if you are not there... he will end up moving on, maybe even searching a dozen other sites with barley any posts... maybe give up, search for an agency... go to a strip club book your competition.. who knows. What I DO know is that every time you post an ad on another site... you increase your odds dramatically that you are found. REMEMBER, these clients don't know all the sites... who knows what site they will end up on. And if you are NOT on the ones they find.. there is 1000% chance they call you.
A great way to booking more is to get a website. There are a lot of VERY inexpensive ways to post one.. many advertisers cant or don't have the resources or ability's... be very careful with the services promising escort websites for money.
I am happy to walk you through some easy free steps that can get you on the right path, I will also build a simple free site, just cover the cost, The hosting I recommend will cost you about $10/month, the domain registration and privacy will be about $25 a year, for under $50 I will put a basic site online for you , and show you how to modify it and post to it form your phone. I want nothing for it... I am happy to help anyone in this industry. just PM me. Once you have one.. .LIST YOUR ESCORT WEBSITE ON ALL THE ESCORT SITES!
Another thing to beware of, MANY reports claim that bedpage, aka ebackpage, aka, ibackpage, aka, onebackpage, aka icracker aka yesbackpage (all the same few guys in India and Bangladesh) have all been known to of given access to advertiser accounts to law enforcement resulting in several arrests. Escorts in NY, TX, and Co all report the same thing, when they were arrested, LE had access to their ad account, showing IP’s they posted from (leading one agency to the actual incall location they also posted ads from) payment methods and more. Be CAREFUL with what you post... use a VPN, do NOT use any payment method that can be connected to you, Tryst has a secure system it looks like and you can use btc or gift cards. Most of the other sites accepting credit/debit cards are at risk... if you are paying with a CC, GET A GIFT CARD like vanilla visa and pay cash for it... afterdarkads.com uses a payment site called adacredits.com and allows payment via many ways that hide your identity like gift cards, Bedpage does something similar but I worry its out of india... but do NOT use your personal amazon acct to buy an amazon card to buy credits from any escort advertisement site. Don't use your CC to buy a best buy card or target card to get an ad on bedpage. . If a site is asking for you to use a debit credit card, or worse upload an ID as proof of anything, you are taking a HUGE risk. eventually a lot of these sites are gonna get raided or closed. or hacked... ( I see rumors yesbackpage just got hacked by one of the owner siddiqs little jerkoff programmers thiefs... lol) whatever info they have stored is all sitting there waiting to be exploited. BE CAREFUL
Use a VPN... ALWAYS. If you cant, get a burner smart phone from Walmart through straight talk.. DO NOT sign into your personal FB on that phone, or your reg email... you want that phone and everything on it to NEVER have any attachment to who you are. pay cash for it all and to reup monthly. INSTALL A VPN if you can. Ask for help here on how to do it.. your safety and freedom depend on this.
Its not just the gov you are hiding from... its clients that have tech backgrounds. I will promise you.. there are VERY few advertisers out there, that if I wanted to, I could get your real name, address, phone, birth-date, and MUCH more. There are THOUSANDS of people out there like me... Laugh if you want but its true. At least I am a decent guy, I don't see sexworkers myself, not that I find anything wrong with it at all.. I am safe, you dont need worry about me, But we all know there are PLENTY of weirdos out there that will stalk you, harass you, and then there are the ones that want to hurt you. Yea, the gov will use your information to arrest you or fuck with you... but those scumbags are killers that will rape you and stick you in a dumpster... BE CAREFUL. BE SAFE. BE SMART.
YOU NEED TO BE ADVERTISING A LOT AND OFTEN!!! Those days of 1 ad producing tons of results are OVER… unless backpage returns… you need to be posting a LOT… it is the new world we live in!! On MANY sites! tryst.link is a top result and is working hard to bring the traffic, they seem to care about advertisers. slixa is a great site but not a lot of results. you know the deal with most of the older backpage clones like bedpage. skip the games is REALLY solid. As I said I helped the girls that started afterdarkads.com, they like tryst care, are sexworkers themselves, and verify advertisers... you are not competing to post against fake ads on afterdarkads. They are doing a great job. Cityxguide is solid for the most part I can see, I hear that on the west coast they are killing it. There were a few guys from BP that went to work for them, I hear good things... You need to be on ALL of them and posting a LOT!! post 1 ad per day on EVERY single site that has daily posting EVEN IF YOU JUST POSTED THE ONLY AD YESTERDAY!!!! on sites like tryst with a profile, at a minimum 1 profile, its smart to have a second with dif pics and numbers... pics hiding a face, diff description... in one describe yourself as a sexy cute fun playful thing.. in the other describe yourself as a dominant sex machine... As sexworkers the best bet is to be a chameleon and adapt yourself to what the client is looking to pay for...
HAVE A SCREENING PROCESS!!! Most high end advertisers with their own websites have extensive screening processes... go find them, read their requirements... what will work for you? Mimic them.
Advertising after backpage is not as easy as it once was… it takes work… it takes INVESTING in yourself. EVERY dollar you spend advertising is an investment. Not enough money in your pocket? INVEST MORE!
I hope you get something that helps you from this. It is all my opinions based on many years in this industry and seeing a lot. I was very successful advertising my own agency and learned a lot. I am happy to answer any questions I can. PM or ask away here! Again PLEASE, be careful and be safe!
submitted by jennersteve2 to afterdarkads_com [link] [comments]

I (25f) found my boyfriends (27m) conspiracy lair..

I’m a full time nurse, and have been with my boyfriend Karl for 4 years. We get along very well, and our honeymoon dating period seems to never end. We seldom fight. I would have, before last night, assumed I knew quite a bit about my boyfriends passions and ideals...
I hope to be engaged to Karl someday soon. I love him to bits, he is the most hilarious and unique guy I’ve ever been with. This is not a post I’m writing in order to seek validation for aggressive action but how to navigate something quite bizarre.
A bit of background: Karl has lots of money he made through selling all his bitcoins back in Decembejan 17/18. He made the bitcoin through runescape when he was younger, which is so fucking hilarious and I love that he’s a made man through runescape.
The problem is since selling his coins in late 2017, he has quit his job in content creation and now part time assists on his aunties vineyard (where we live, in a small house onsite). It doesn’t require anything close to full time hours and he spends most of his time on his computer or with his friends thinking up business ideas.. this doesn’t particularly bother me as he’s just trying to figure out what he’s passionate about doing. .. it’s just lately I’ve noticed he has an increasing amount of spare time on his hands.
The vineyard has a lot of different garages, for tractors and things like that. There’s a garage just for irrigation controls, which I hadn’t been into for over a year. Karl was out and I decided to try turn on the irrigation manually so the vines could get a little extra water. We’re in Australia and it’s been hot - usually this runs on a timer, but you can do it manual if you want.
I also haven’t been inside this particular garage in a year because it’s almost always padlocked, what with water being a critical function of the vineyard and all.. I get to the door and the padlock is there but not locked in so I just walk inside.
And fucking hell... It’s like a scene from true detective. Karl has printed out several A0 maps, made from A4 paper. There are countless pins and blue and red string connecting global locations and faces, some of which are easily recognisable. Its fucking unreal and looks like a war room in a film or something. All of the strings have different conspiracy theories like UFO’, 911, false flags, ancient aliens stuff. Beyond the maps and string there are shitloads of folders and stuff. It’s all ordered meticulously too, like real work has even been put into the design and layout of the room.... needless to stay I’m fucking flabbergasted.
This is the work of somebody who has been collecting this kind of stuff for YEARS. There was 1000s of pages on people.. all of it was about child pedophile rings and satanic ritual abuse. It has a list of names, a lot I recognised, a lot I didn’t. Lots of stuff speculating around a “Pedo Island” for celebrities and that pizza gate crap that came out a couple year ago.
How the hell do I approach my boyfriend about this? He has NEVER mentioned any of this stuff to me. He’s historically been a pretty normal guy without any crazy beliefs (I thought).. I also don’t know much about the content in question
I’m hurt that he’s been hiding a considerable side of himself from me... it’s not even the fact it’s so bizarre, it’s the fact he’s hiding anything. Is he hiding other things from me maybe? That’s what it makes me ask myself.
———————
UPDATE.
firstly thanks to those who offered any suggestion on how to approach him about it. I watched a short break down clip on pizzagate with the volume up while we were both sitting in the lounge.. one thing led to another.
Basically.. Yeah it’s his stuff, and it’s what him, his mates and the vineyard manager have been doing while I’m at work occasionally. He went into a pretty big defence of it and it’s pretty obvious he is actually really into it. He made me read stuff on Mark Dutroux (?) some creep in Belgium linked to politicians, among other stuff... I’m not going to lie, some of that trafficking/ ritual abuse stuff is insanely evil, runs deep and seems pretty conclusive. Some of the other stuff he said was just there by proxy (ancient aliens) and he didn’t take as seriously.
I told him I don’t want to frequently talk about any of this because it’s really affecting stuff and unashamedly I’d rather bury my head in the sand than further convince myself this stuff could be real.. because some of it clearly is.
He understood and apologised for hiding this from me, and said he didn’t think a nurse would want their energies sucked away from them anymore than could be helped. I was both annoyed and charmed by this sentiment.
I showed him this reddit post, which he was reasonably cagey about. He says he absolutely won’t allow me to take a photo for you. Fair enough. Other than than he was okay about it.. except a couple of people who said he doesn’t have money/couldn’t make it on a game. He got pretty defensive about that and is actually over my shoulder dictating to me right now what to say: He played pretty much full time from 2009-2012 and sold in game money, items, bots and helping people with their accounts using bitcoins after the developers banned sales using real money on EBay. He says the coins were worth not much when he made them, and that he made a lot of them and hung on to them.
I know this is true because I’ve literally been with him through the transition of him going from poor to rich overnight. I’ve seen the money.
Thanks again to everyone. So yeah, turns out it’s a joint operation with his buddies. Also turns out some of its more viable than I want to believe. I’ll be putting my head back in the sand. We bonded over it though, and yeah maybe I will marry him. He quite liked those comments.
Eloise
submitted by Jiloyt789 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

Fortnight Tech Roundup & Discourse - IRNSS NavIC

Fortnight Tech Roundup & Discourse - IRNSS NavIC

Welcome to this week's tech round up and discourse post.

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EBay, Stripe and Mastercard drop out of Facebook’s Libra Association techcrunch
Club Factory raises $100M to expand its lifestyle e-commerce platform in India economictimes
Donald Trump joins Amazon's video game streaming platform Twitch cnn
Bill McDermott steps down as SAP’s CEO wsj
Elon Musk says that NASA is free to share all SpaceX IP with ‘anyone it wants’ gizmodo
NASA’s new Moon-bound spacesuit is safer, smarter and much more comfortable nasa.gov
Steam will soon let you play local-only multiplayer games with far off friends pcgamer
Dyson kills its electric car project and turns to solid-state batteries guardian
Amazon Music arrives on Apple TV pocket-lint
Google takes AMP to the OpenJS Foundation openjsf
Russia’s Yandex introduces an Echo Dot-style smart speaker techcrunch
Cisco hit by an internal network outage cbronline
Xage now supports hierarchical blockchains for complex implementations globenewswire
NASCAR could debut hybrids as early as 2022 thedrive
Apple pulls HKmap from App Store, the day after Chinese state media criticized its ‘unwise and reckless decision’ to approve it cnbc
Virgin Orbit plans to send cubesats to Mars as early as 2022 cnet
Call of Duty is the biggest mobile game launch ever, with 100 million downloads independent
Pinterest launches a new ‘Lite’ app for emerging markets androidpolice
Microsoft’s Your Phone app can now route calls from your Android phone to your PC blog.windows
European risk report flags 5G security challenges techcrunch
Toyota, GM, Nvidia, Bosch, Arm and others form new autonomous driving tech consortium theiet
China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app nyt
AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 is its new entry-level competitor to Nvidia’s GTX 1650 pcworld
Amazon, Walmart confront India’s slowing economy as holiday season growth stalls techcrunch
Essential reveals Project Gem smartphone with very long, unusual design engadget
Twitter admits it used two-factor phone numbers and emails for serving targeted ads help.twitter
Arm brings custom instructions to its embedded CPUs developer.arm
Sony’s next console is the PlayStation 5, arriving holidays 2020 theverge
Chinese firms Tencent, Vivo and CCTV suspend ties with the NBA over Hong Kong tweet edition.cnn
Eight Chinese tech firms placed on US Entity List for their role in human rights violations against Muslim minority groups techcrunch
Mars Curiosity Rover finds evidence of an ancient oasis on Mars earthsky
Instagram is killing its creepy stalking feature, the Following tab androidpolice
Ex-Tinder CEO files lawsuit saying sexual assault allegations against him are defamation theverge
Fire TV might not get Disney+ as Amazon and Disney clash over ads variety
Amazon introduces a Kindle for kids indiatoday
Apple’s MacOS Catalina is now available 9to5mac
Spotify gains Siri support on iOS 13, arrives on Apple TV forbes
Disney is reportedly banning Netflix ads across its entertainment TV networks theverge
Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC in November rockpapershotgun
NASA shares 3D Moon data for CG artists and creators space
PayPal is the first company to drop out of the Facebook-led Libra Association economictimes
Iranian hackers targeted US 2020 campaign, says Microsoft bbc
Apple CEO Tim Cook slams Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency as a power grab forbes
Google-backed Dunzo raises $45M to expand its hyperlocal delivery startup in India fortuneindia
NASA’s first all-electric experimental X-plane is ready for testing nasa.gov
Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan macrumorsInstagram launches Threads, a Close Friends chat app with auto-status wired
India’s Fyle bags $4.5M to expand its expense management platform in the US, other international markets techcrunch
Uber launches a shift-work finder app, Uber Works, starting in Chicago tnw
Redesigned Google Shopping goes live, with price tracking, Google Lens for outfits and more pcmag
Zuckerberg Plans to Sue if Elizabeth Warren Tries to Break Up Facebook gizmodo
Samsung pulls the plug on Chinese smartphone production techcrunch
Microsoft showcases an Android Surface 'phone' and dual-screen Windows Variant cnet
Microsoft’s latest Surface Laptop arrives in 13- and 15-inch models theverge
India’s NoBroker raises $50M to help people buy and rent without real estate brokers business-standard
Cybersecurity giant Comodo can’t even keep its own website secure forums.comodo
NASA awards $43.2M to Blue Origin, SpaceX and others for tech to take us to the Moon and Mars techcrunch
NASA launches a new planet-hunting telescope using a giant balloon phys.org
UPS gets FAA approval to operate an entire drone delivery airline nyt
Streamlit launches open-source machine learning application development framework techcrunch
WhatsApp tests self-destructing messages theverge
Europe’s top court says active consent is needed for tracking cookies techcrunch
SpaceX details Starship and Super Heavy in new website techcrunch
Hyundai is getting into the flying car business newatlas
Microsoft makes Windows Virtual Desktop generally available globally zdnet
Google's Project Jacquard is available on new Levi's jackets youtube
PayPal to enter China through GoPay acquisition venturebeat

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The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) recently become fully-operational and has been provided with the operational name of NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation). Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with the objective of offering positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) to the users on a variety of platforms with a 24 hour x 7 day service availability under all weather conditions - in its service area with a position accuracy of < 20 m throughout India and within the region of coverage extending about 1500 km beyond. nih.gov
Having an autonomous regional satellite navigation system of one’s own offers strategic autonomy in military operations. The GPS that we have known and used all along is the satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the US government and operated by the American Air Force. During the Kargil War 20 years ago, the US refused to provide India critical information on the movement and precise location of Paki enemy troops. toi A need for an indigenous satellite navigation was felt earlier, but Kargil experience made the nation realize it's inevitability. Geopolitical needs teaches us that some countries can deny us the service in times of conflict, a way of arm twisting.
With an accuracy of <10 m on Restricted and Encrypted Service (RES) while an accuracy of <20 m on Standard Positioning Service (SPS), IRNSS will offer 2 level of services for very differing purposes. isro.gov.in \PDF]) Almost all Military and Reconnaissance applications will utilize RES while SPS will be available for civilian uses. unvienna \PDF])

The IRNSS space segment architecture consists of 3 satellites in GEO (Geostationary Orbit) at 32.5°, 83° and 131.5° East while 4 satellites in geosynchronous orbit placed at inclination of 29° with longitude crossing at 55° and 111.75° East forming an analemma. isac.gov.in Out of the 4 GSO satellites, the first sat IRNSS-1A failed in orbit due to atmoic clock malfunction. On August 31, 2017, sat IRNSS-1H was meant to replace defunct IRNSS-1A, failed to deploy due to malfunction in payload fairing mechanism. Though failures are not uncommon in space missions of even developed nations, India is not in a position where it can afford even relatively minor glitches neither financially nor in terms of reaching the higher goals it has set for itself. firstpost

IRNSS Analemma

Unlike GPS which is dependent only on L-band, NAVIC has dual frequency (S and L bands). When low frequency signal travels through atmosphere, its velocity changes due to atmospheric disturbances. US banks on atmospheric model to assess frequency error and it has to update this model from time to time to assess the exact error. In India's case, the actual delay is assessed by measuring the difference in delay of dual frequency (S and L bands). Therefore, NavIC is not dependent on any model to find the frequency error and is more accurate than GPS. toi
Studies have also shown marked improvement in GDoP (Geometric dilution of precision) values when IRNSS is used in conjunction with GPS constellation for position fix in primary coverage region of IRNSS. Hence IRNSS can be augmented with GPS to improve position accuracy in the given region. ias.ac.in

The IRNSS is being developed parallel to the GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Satellite Navigation) program that in essence use GPS signals for navigation but after making them much more reliable for safety critical applications like in civil aviation., the ISRO SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) version of an overlay system for GNSS signal corrections. earth.esa.int As of 2013, the statutory filing for frequency spectrum of Global Indian Navigational System (GINS) satellite orbits in international space, has been completed. hindubusinessline GINS is supposed to have a constellation of 24 satellites, positioned 24,000 km (14,913 mi) above Earth. wikipedia)

On Sep 24, 2019 Global mobile telephony standards body, 3GPP, gave its approval to NaVIC (Proposed jointly by Reliance Jio and ISRO). 3gpp.org \XLSX]) The approval has been given for the system’s use in Rel-16 LTE and Rel-17 5G NR specifications, paving the way for wider commercial adoption of NaVIC, allowing it to be integrated with 4G, 5G and internet of things (IoT). 3gpp.org \ZIP]) Thus, electronics companies can start designing and building integrated circuits and mass manufacture other products uniquely created to be compatible with NavIC. From what all scant information I was able to gather it seems Broadcom was first to introduce BCM47756 3gpp.org \ZIP]) chipset integrated with NavIC and Xiaomi Mi8 was the first phone to have the capabilities. insidegnss Will the introduction of indigenous satnav be another step closer towards being a global power? Comments open.
PS: Here's an interesting presentation prepared by Space Application Center that goes a little deep inside Navigation with Indian Constellation http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/icg/2018/icg13/05.pdf

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And in the last, here's 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000 by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000.
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Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:France_in_XXI_Century_(fiction))
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'Fake Bitcoin' - How this Woman Scammed the World, then ...

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