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Subject:Anti-TOR propaganda
Time:08:43 pm
I've noticed in several recent American TV shows, especially the NCIS shows, that the TOR network is being portrayed entirely negatively, as "the darknet," a hotbed of arms and drugs dealers, terrorism, etc. They seem to be ignoring the fact that TOR was originally set up by the US government to bypass censorship by other governments, also that it probably isn't particularly difficult to intercept, especially if you're the NSA, and that TOR is probably only a tiny part of web activity that is covert one way or another.

So is the reason for this

(a) Some writer heard about TOR and wanted to use it in the show and didn't think of its positive uses
(b) The prelude to some move against the TOR network by the US government
or
(c) Someone trying to portray TOR as the ultimate way to conceal illegal activities, in hopes that gullible criminals etc. will start to use it and thus be open to scrutiny by e.g. the NSA.

Any thoughts?
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fengi
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-08 08:26 pm (UTC)
It think it's A and the long history of absurd depictions of tech on network TV, like computers that can magically enhance the details of any image no matter what. Any use of the darkweb was bound to be ridiculously reductive.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-08 10:10 pm (UTC)
You're probably right, but conspiracy theories are always fun.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


fengi
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 03:38 pm (UTC)
I think you are right on some level - it may not be an organized conspiracy, but governmental and corporate opposition to darknet has involved active demonization for years which became the trope lazy writers use.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 08:22 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much it, I think.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


timill
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 12:42 am (UTC)
I go with (d) All of the above.
(Reply) (Thread)


armb
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 07:49 am (UTC)
Yep. But mostly (a).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 11:28 am (UTC)
Yes, it does seem most likely.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


lil_shepherd
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 05:41 am (UTC)
I think A, primarily because it is impossible to underestimate the amount of research done by TV shows and films.
(Reply) (Thread)


ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 11:29 am (UTC)
Yup.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


pauldormer
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 10:30 am (UTC)
I had not heard of the TOR network and thought for a moment you were talking about Tor books.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 11:30 am (UTC)
If you read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother it'll tell you more about it than you probably want to know.
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pauldormer
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 11:44 am (UTC)
I have read it, and I don't remember a thing about it.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 08:24 pm (UTC)
The viewpoint character's name is Marcus, what's not to like?

OK, yeah, I know, he's also the most irritating character I can remember reading in the last few years, with a whiny voice I could live without.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


alexmc
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-09 10:22 pm (UTC)
I have worked at a company where we *wanted* to be anonymous, but TPTB decided not to use Tor because it might make *us* look bad!
(Reply) (Thread)


ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-10 11:15 am (UTC)
OK... weird, but I see what you mean. Proxy anonymizers instead then?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


alexmc
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-10 11:24 am (UTC)
sort of yes
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

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