back to article Cisco makes up term 'dark web,' fights it with appliance

In the absence of proper categorization, egregious websites rule the internet, free to terrorize the hapless workers of web 2.0 with wanton non-productivity. Or at least that's how Cisco paints the landscape of a so-called "dark web," a term the networking giant has coined for an estimated 80 per cent of the internet that's …


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  1. Neoc

    Rebranding *again*?

    Funny, I remember the term "Dark Web" being used back in 2007 to mean those areas of the Web that have no direct links but instead were generated dynamically via databases and such based on user input/query, and thus could not be (easily) indexed by search engines.

    Apparently, it now means something else according to Cisco.

  2. Neoc

    Well, waddayaknow?

    Article in El Reg from 2006:

  3. Oro

    You're way cool

    Austin, The Reg is way cool!!! Very productive website except late on Saturday nights. Can get kind of dodgy around here. :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Cool with Cisco, I hope so

    "But we're cool, right Cisco? Totally a productive website."

    Barracuda firewall is used where I work as an IT instructor. There I am rowing away for hours on end like a galley slave on a ship and the reward for my efforts to train the masses is blocking El Reg, just at the moment I would like to make a point about current events in IT as related to the lecture by referring to an article I just read on El Reg from home.

    Even though the good ship's purpose is to provide education to future IT professionals, the people with power over the content filters block what I consider to be a valuable and up to date resource for current events in the IT field.

    If knowledge is power, why is it that the powerful often fear and misunderstand knowledge?

    Good luck and $DEITY speed to the good ship El Reg, and all who sail on her.

  5. davcefai

    But for how long?

    "But we're cool, right Cisco? Totally a productive website."

    Only for as long as you say nice things about them. :-)

  6. Ben Rosenthal

    Reg cool?

    should hope so, even says on my contract as a support dood that I have to stay up to date with current events in the IT world.

    So I AM being productive right now, especially if the colleague that is configuring our web app at the moment is reading :)

  7. Anonymous Coward

    ""But we're cool, right Cisco? Totally a productive website."

    Well, if the current lack of BoFH updates continues, then I'm not sure....

    /Cisco Employee

  8. Graham Bartlett

    Why TF?

    The point of indexing is so that you can find things of interest. The chances of a bunch of weeny-blogs being interesting is so vanishingly close to zero as makes no difference. Which makes the whole thing pointless. What a bunch of muppets.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did I read that correctly

    Is Cisco using its installed base of internet backbone routers to IDP traffic? If so, who did they hire from Phorm?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "It even has a kick-ass name."

    And, knowing Cisco, it'll have a kick-ass price to match ...

  11. jake Silver badge

    Vaguely familiar ...

    I wonder what DC Comics' lawyers are going to say on the subject ...

  12. F Seiler

    As if that was a good idea

    as the title says.

    I'm assuming the thing worked by some kind of automated process (keyword, links analysis..), as human reviewing of their so called dark web is clearly beyond the capacity of any company.

    Even if it works most of the time, if a significant amount of the mismatches actually block people out from relevant pages, the damage is potentially much larger than the gain in productivity.

    E.g. if i implement a (non-trivial) algorithm in a software but am denied access to a site with information on it, the cost of that is quite unquantifiable. If that information was just a pointer to a more efficient implementation, maybe the cost is zero except we could have annoyed the user less by less waiting time, or the competitor could use that alternative and outperform us. If the site was about a significant flaw in the method, it could cause us very direct financial damage if wrong results are presented to the user.

    Probably 90% of what the filter responds to is actually utter dross. Not hard, as that holds for all of the interweb. Nevertheless actually useful information is found quite often off large/established sites where it is most likely mixed with content on other topics (pets,children, other weird hobbies of the site author...). Err yes, there actually are blog-like sites which are not completely braindead.

    /Considered the Big Brother icon. But BB knows what you are supposed to see. Whereas this new fangled filter thing clearly can't know.

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