Study finds that more than 80% of Tor Hidden Service visits are political dissidents


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Just kidding, it's totally pedophiles

From Wired:

Here’s how the Portsmouth University study worked: From March until September of this year, the research group ran 40 “relay” computers in the Tor network, the collection of thousands of volunteer machines that bounce users’ encrypted traffic through hops around the world to obscure its origin and destination.


The researchers found that a majority of Tor hidden service traffic—the traffic to the 40 most visited sites, in fact—were actually communications from “botnet” computers infected with malware seeking instructions from a hacker-controlled server running Tor. Most of those malware control servers were offline, remnants of defunct malware schemes like the Skynet botnet whose alleged operator was arrested last year.

But take out that automated malware traffic, and 83 percent of the remaining visits to Tor hidden service websites sought sites that Owen’s team classified as related to child abuse. Most of the sites were so explicit as to include the prefix “pedo” in their name. (Owen asked that WIRED not name the sites for fear of driving more visitors to them.) The researchers’ automated web crawler downloaded only text, not pictures, to avoid any illegal possession of child pornographic images or video. “It came as a huge shock to us,” Owen says of his findings. “I don’t think anyone imagined it was on this scale.”
Sooo, this means the remaining 20% are totally whistle-blowing freedom-fighters and dissidents, right?

Despite their popularity on the Tor network, child abuse sites represent only about 2 percent of Tor hidden service websites—just a small number of pedophilia sites account for the majority of Dark Web http traffic, according to the study. Drug-related sites and markets like the now-defunct Silk Road 2, Agora or Evolution represented a total of about 24 percent of the sites measured in the study, by contrast. But visits to those sites accounted for only about 5 percent of site requests on the Tor network, by the researchers’ count. Whistleblower sites like SecureDrop and Globaleaks, which allow anonymous users to upload sensitive documents to news organizations, accounted for 5 percent of Tor hidden service sites, but less than a tenth of a percent of site visits.
Well, at least 0.1% of them are
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100% Tier-1 Gogent
In other news, over half of all plain old internet traffic is from bots and spiders.  The remaining 50% is compromised of 40% zombies and 10% real folks.

Which reminds me of the other day looking at a certain company and their site with random web traffic numbers and most popular sites by country viewership.  Maybe a Top 500 sites per country.  Anyways, looking through one certain Asian country's results and wasn't too far along and it was seedy tourism site ranked all high aka weirdos traveling to have sex with the natives.

The underlying drive to fornicate has all sorts of folks doing all sorts of unsound things.  

If it's a dark alley in a big city, you'll find hobos, whine'o's, and prostitutes lurking and traveling through.  No surprise that a dark corridor of the inner-tor-net would have higher concentration of at-risk folks.  Go to a sex shop, find people interested in that and secure confines... Go to a bar, similar at risk....  

Not that all those are equal.  Just makes sense, simple math.

Tor though, blah it's good freedom and intellectually but it is a sh!t magnet.