Blake Dowling: Dark Data, Dark Web, Dark Side?

Basic human dignity – FAIL.

Let’s see … what should I write about today? Pretending to murder the President of the United States? No, that’s been done.

It was ironic as I was posting my Memorial column about togetherness and unity on Twitter the other day and I see all these Tweets about Kathy Griffin. Let’s see what she is up to, hmmm beheading the President. That is exactly what I was talking about in the piece, people behaving so, so badly that it is beyond comprehension. Odd that it wasn’t on the news yesterday.

You hear a lot of the same rhetoric from right wing media outlets like Drudge Report, Fox News, etc. … “If this had been former President the world would be more outraged, there would be war in the streets,” but it’s a left-wing comedian and it’s Donald so maybe they are right (pun intended)? I watched the news (ABC/NBC) last night, no mention of this.

People forget that celebrities, politicians, athletes are actually human beings.

Like him or hate him, the Donald is a person, too. If you can’t respect the man or the woman, try and respect the office. Jeez, Griffin, humanity sinks deeper into the sea of the pathetic thanks to you. Basic human dignity – FAIL.

 Oh well. For today we are back to technology.

Welcome to the Dark Side. We have pancakes.

There is a company called Lattice Data that Apple just scooped up for about 200 million. Lattice specializes in machine learning and transferring “dark data” into usable information.

What the hell is dark data? Is that what the Emperor keeps on his iPad? (Zing)

Dark data is data that is unstructured and uncharacterized. It could be geographical information on customers, financial information, pictures. Think about some growth analysis, we cranked out 4.4 zettabytes of data in 2013. That is going to grow to a projected 40+ zettabytes by 2020.

Experts say 90 percent of the data in existence was produced in the past two years. This info must be stored somewhere – and data centers are not cheap. Cooling data centers are not cheap.

What do we do with all of this data? Enter Lattice, they take the data and using artificial intelligence they “label” it. So, all of this information that is compiled from everything in our internet of things world could be used in medicine, political campaigning, logistics, genetics even human trafficking.

MEMEX is a program which analyzes mountains of data on sex workers via, online ads, job postings, rates, geographic region, and they can take the data and identify trends which may lead them to a human trafficking ring. This is not just data on the traditional internet, this application also dives into the dark web.

The darknet, dark web or deep web are areas of the internet where search engines do not go and where you must have a specialized browser to get there (like Tor). Users are anonymous and not traceable by IP address on the normal web.

So, guess what happens? It’s like Kathy Griffin day every day on the dark web.

Drugs are for sale, weapons, pornography, hitmen, all those things. I wrote a piece about the online drug emporium, Silk Road last for INFLUENCE Magazine if you want to check it out.

Some say the dark web provides an anonymous place for corporate whistleblowing. I call BS on that one. You can write a letter to the NY Post and not sign it if you really must disclose some sinister corporate shenanigans.

Others say if you buy drugs online you take violent crime out of the drug business; pay with bitcoin, it comes to your home, no gun battles in Compton or elsewhere.

That argument is slightly more valid, but it’s still illegal, in Florida at least. For now. For the People.

Dark website to hire a hitman.

There you have it, darkness everywhere coming at you like the platoon of Storm Troopers on the forest moon of Endor. Thanks for reading.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at