back to article Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Yet again, someone who should know better appears to be hyping up the size of the so-called “darkweb” to push an agenda. As reported by TorrentFreak, the remarks were made to the IP Enforcement Summit in London. According to that report, among other things, Commissioner Adrian Leppard of City of London Police said: “Whether …


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  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge


    This implies that if you put something on the internet but do not make it available to everyone, using all the appropriate protocols like unauthenticated http, DNS name under official root, easy to parse by search engines HTML format and no robots.txt , that makes you some part of the "internet underground".

    Well I wish everyone was part of this "underground", it is high time we learned how to use the web without exposing everything to everyone.

    1. HollyHopDrive

      Re: Hilarious

      When did anyone use facts when creating (or trying to create) law. If we used proper facts there would probably be less laws and a fair few abolished.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        I harbor some darknet myself

        I use my personal site to store family/event pics for which I craft the URL and hand it out to friends so they can see the pics.

        The folders in which said pics are stored are not indexed by Google because there is no link to them.

        So I'm a terrorist, right ?

        1. dogged

          Re: I harbor some darknet myself

          The folders in which said pics are stored are not indexed by Google because there is no link to them.

          So I'm a terrorist, right ?

          In Eric Schmidt's world, totally.

        2. Cynical Observer
          Big Brother

          Re: I harbor some darknet myself

          Not only a terrorist - but also damaging the commercial interests of all those media outlets that would like to use your photos without attribution or payment. Just think of all the images that they could "fail to identify the suthor of" if such Deep Web practices were forbidden.

          All hail the media overlords!

        3. alain williams Silver badge

          Re: I harbor some darknet myself

          The folders in which said pics are stored are not indexed by Google because there is no link to them.

          And if you send the private URL one of your friends via their Gmail account ... does google still not index it ? Are you quite sure about that ?

          1. Dom 3

            Re: I harbor some darknet myself

            I've tried this myself. And no, Google never spidered my "googletrap" page.

        4. Jim 59

          Re: I harbor some darknet myself

          @Pascal Monett "dark web" used to mean web sites that were password protected and therefore not routinely spidered by search engines. These forums, for example. However, the media overheard the word "dark web", got very excited, and they now use it to mean anything evil on the net. Durrr

          Which is a shame because now we have no word for - that other thing.

      2. bonkers

        Re: Hilarious

        Ahh, the wonders of policy-based evidence.

        We've seen the evidence now, let's guess what the incoming policy to support it might have been..??

      3. J. R. Hartley

        Re: Hilarious

        TOR uses an area of the internet the size of Ireland.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hilarious

          You can tell when you are anywhere near the Dark Internet, because it smells strongly of hammers

        2. PdxStan

          Re: Hilarious

          NO, NO, NO! TOR uses an area of the internet the size of a Light-Year. At least that is what Commissioner Leppard meant to say. He read it on the Internet.

        3. pacmantoo

          Re: Hilarious

          Does any one know - is that larger or smaller than the amount of data the NSA warehouses each day? Just too lazy to do the maths myself (Note to NSA that's 'math' to you)

  2. corestore

    It isn't 90% of the internet...

    ...but the post-Snowden lesson is that it (or something like it) bloody well SHOULD be!

  3. SuperTim


    He was just mentioning that the darknet is 90% of the internet that the MET is interested in. They don't particularly care for the rest of the kitten videos and such.

    I personally am glad that the powers that be appear to be a bit slow on the uptake, internet-wise.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe...

      It's not the MET. It's the City of London police, who act like a gang of private thugs and have a whole raft of extremely questionable connections. They make the MET look like paragons of justice and tolerance in comparison.

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: Maybe...

        But some of their connections, publicly and openly acknowledged, are those nice respectable Scientologists ... oh, hang on a minute ...

      2. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Maybe...

        It's a pity it's not the Met - coz then he'd be ...

        Leppard of the Yard!

        Another thrilling adventure as Leppard of the Yard drives his trusty Firefox browser down London's dark cyber-alleys accompanied by his (really not homo-erotic) sidekick, Mac Address. Kapow! Blam!

        1. Zog_but_not_the_first

          Re: Maybe...

          Bringing an end to Python's "Being hit on the head lessons" IIRC. Prescient, or what?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Maybe...

      Met != CoLP.

      The Met is just your basic police force, for the capital. They are mostly concerned with 'the usual' - burgleries, muggings, car theft, the occasional murder. The expected.

      CoLP are a police force for The City, that tiny bit in the middle of London that runs a good chunk of the global economy. They don't do street crime much. Their main focus is on financial and business crime - fraud of various types, insider trading, the crimes that happen when you cram lots of financial businesses together. They are sometimes criticised for having a rather too-close relationship with business (which supplies much of their funding), which goes some way to explain the substantial resources they devote to enforcing copyright law and seizing counterfeit goods. CoLP management considers copyright infringement and the manufacture/import of counterfeit goods to be economic crimes, and thus an area that the CoLP should be focusing on.

      You still might see a CoLP officer on the streets if you're in the City, but never outside. You can tell them from the Met by their hats: Met have the famous blue chequer pattern. CoLP have the same pattern, but in red.

      1. streaky

        Re: Maybe...

        I see CoLP bobbies on the street all the time. They do exist - quite commonly actually. Once made the mistake of asking one for directions that every Londoner should know (when I first moved down to London) - absolutely no idea at all.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe...

        Less so now, but being a City of London cop was a nice little number for anyone fortunate enough to be over 6ft tall. Until the mid-90's most of the pubs used to shut by 8PM, the City was deserted at weekends and it was broadly shielded from London's wider social problems.

        These days the height restriction* has been scrapped and they have to deal with alcohol fueled mayhem like every other force in the country.

        * - Before the height restriction was scrapped, some toerags claimed to be able to spot under-cover policemen. All that they were actually doing was assessing strange faces to see if they were over or user the height restriction. False positives didn't bother them.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge

          Re: Maybe...

          Yes I remember back in the early 90's if you were stuck around Liverpool Street station at 7.30pm on a Saturday night the only place to eat/drink in was the Pizza Express about 200 yards away. Everywhere else was shut like a ghost town.

          1. Jan 0

            Re: Maybe...

            @jason 7

            Back then it was only 20 minutes walk to the pub with the blackout curtains and lots of male customers wearing boots and blue serge trousers where you could drink until the wee hours.

            Mind you, at 7:30 pm what was stopping you from strolling for 5 minutes to the many pubs in Commercial Street? Better still, it was only 10 minutes to the Pride, with ESB on tap!

        2. Jan 0

          Re: Maybe...

          Perfectly true, except 's/toerag/towrag/'

          I sentence you to 20 years picking oakum.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I am afraid not

        "The Met is just your basic police force, for the capital. They are mostly concerned with 'the usual' - burgleries, muggings, car theft, the occasional murder. The expected."

        The MET is not. As well as being the largest single force in the country (that allows it to set both its own operational and technical standards and bugger the rest - for good or bad) it also has control over such things as counter terrorism. Having worked with technologies for Blue Light system I can assure you that the MET is not 'just a basic police force'

      4. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Maybe...

        "You can tell them from the Met by their hats: Met have the famous blue chequer pattern. CoLP have the same pattern, but in red."

        And if you look very closely you might notice that their buttons and badges etc. are gold not silver.

        Sorry, just getting my anorak.

      5. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Maybe...

        Most of the financial sector these days is Canary Wharf (Tower Hamlets), and Mayfair (Westminster). Both are within the Met's patch rather than the City of London Police area.

      6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Maybe...

        "CoLP have the same pattern, but in red."

        Oh. I thought they were traffic wardens.

    3. Kane Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Maybe...@ Super Tim

      Here's the great thing I like about the powers that be; In some instances (NSA/GCHQ etc) they seem to be pretty on the ball as far as teh intarwebs is concerned. They have the ability and/or tech to hoover up as much information about the rest of the world as they want. Then you have total numpties like this guy, who make such hilariously inaccurate comments as he did, that they come across as looking completely inept.

      I'm sure those in the know (again, NSA/GCHQ etc), are absolutely loving comments like this made by highly paid public figures, for various reasons. Not least being that it helps to justify their activities to some degree, but also that it helps garner support in the level of policing/monitoring activites on the net that they take part in.

  4. seven of five Silver badge

    "[A] threat to our society that we need to take action against?"

    I´d like to know what our society is and why it is threatened by bittorrent. Or tor.

    Then again, maybe I´d better don´t want to.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: "[A] threat to our society that we need to take action against?"

      >I´d like to know what our society is

      I thought there was "no such thing as society"?

      If he doesn't believe in holy iron lady he must be some sort of commie terrorist

  5. wolfetone

    He obviously has Jen from The IT Crowd as his researcher.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      @ wolfetone

      ... Jen from the IT crowd...

      Sorry to dissent, but this gaffe surpasses "Jen level" by a good margin. This is clearly a "Raynholm Junior level" event. I mean, Jen is intelligent but ignorant. This fine gentleman seems to be ignorant AND stupid. Either that, or he was too busy fiddling with his expenses sheet to give any serious thought to the matter he was addressing.

      And Jen is far sexier! ;-)

      1. wolfetone

        Re: @ wolfetone

        Oh god yes, Jen is gorgeous. We need more of her on TV!

        But thats by the by. He probably is one of these idiots who thinks the internet is in a small black box somewhere in the world and you could actually break it by either typing Google in to Google or "last page of the internet". The man is an idiot, and if he's in such a well paying job there is hope for me yet!

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: @ wolfetone

          Oh god yes, Jen is gorgeous. We need more of her on TV!

          Was that her in half-horse-half-human guise in TV ads not so long ago? I guess some people might be into that, but I don't think it was one of her better roles.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ wolfetone

            > Was that her in half-horse-half-human guise in TV ads not so long ago?

            Katherine Parkinson also regularly seen as the Doc's receptionist in Doc Martin, at least in one of the seasons.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "He obviously has Jen from The IT Crowd as his researcher."

      I can actually picture conversations along those lines with his esteemed colleagues, not least with regard to anyone foolish enough to try and set him right:

      "Will you stop trying to undermine me, now get in there and do some work to do with comp-uters!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He could hammer corks into all of the intertubes but one; station an Equadorian-Embassy-Style watch around the remaining tube; and stitch the public up for another 6 million quid. Job done.

  6. Amorous Cowherder

    Save your breath Reg

    Nice article Reg but save your breath, another government dept hyping up the non-existent bogey-men on "da net" so they can get more money to play with by frightening those with the purse strings. As they say, why let facts get in the way of a good story.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    cause I don't believe he's THAT uninformed.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: FUD

      No, but he definately is uniformed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FUD

        He is an uninformed uniformed. Not that uncommon.

        1. Ralph B

          Re: FUD

          But I'm told he's currently very good at being uninformed uniformed. Or: I'm informed he's in-form uninformed uniformed

          1. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

            Re: FUD

            Okay, stop it now.

            It's turning into a Two Ronnies sketch.

            1. Ted Treen

              Re: FUD

              OK, it's stopped...

              So it's "Goodnight" from me...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: FUD

              "It's turning into a Two Ronnies sketch."

              Oh no it isn't .....

              [actually, it was turning in to something funny, rather than a Two Ronnies sketch.]

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

              re: RE: Re: FUD

              > >> >> > [...]

              Agggh... alt.cascade.overload!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trillion-dollar market

    the trouble with silly figures like that is that they're beyond the imagination of the law-abiding (...) public. Say a million, a billion, and they might be impressed, but with trillions and gazillions it's into the realm of the ministry of silly walks.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: trillion-dollar market


      Shhhhhh....don't mention Gazillions where the Met SWAT team might hear you.

  9. Velv Silver badge

    Police Commissioner - says it all.

    An ELECTED official. Not a trained officer. Not someone who's risen through the ranks. Not someone who's actually down the day job.

    Don't you know that its a requirement of accepting any publicly elected post that 99% of your brain cells are removed.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge


      "...its a requirement of accepting any publicly elected post that 99% of your brain cells are removed."

      True, but as this kind of mindphuck seems to be also quite common amongst Civil Service staff, I'd change that to "'s a requirement for being in the payroll of the Public Teat...".

    2. Nigel Whitfield.

      Commissioners for the Met and the CoLP aren't elected.

      The Met is overseen by the Mayor of London, via MOPAC, and the CoLP via the City Council.

      Outwith the capital, there are "Police and Crime Commissioners" who are elected, but to an oversight position, not to an actual rank within the force that they manage.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Not someone who's risen through the ranks."

      There are plans (current? future?) to recruit at very senior levels from outside the Police. Middle and senior managers/PHBs from industry who fancy a change.

      OCP by the backdoor?

  10. wowfood

    Don't quote me on this

    But I think the guy is just an idiot who doesn't make himself clear.

    Whether it’s Bitnet, The Tor – which is 90 per cent of the Internet – peer-to-peer sharing, or the streaming capability worldwide

    I think it's meant to be Tor which covers is 90% of the internets P2P transfers. Meaning that the majority of THIEVING PIRATE SCUM! torrenters have taken to using TOR in order to circumvent firewalls or prevent themselves from being tracked. So not 90% of the entire internet, but 90% of torrenters.

    1. Nuke

      @Wowfood - Re: Don't quote me on this

      Good point. In fact that is the way I first read it (despite the punctuation) because to take it the way El Reg has interpreted it would make it so daft that it was beyond me for a moment.

      Wowfood wrote :- "But I think the guy is just an idiot who doesn't make himself clear. [He is reported as saying :] 'Whether it’s Bitnet, The Tor – which is 90 per cent of the Internet – peer-to-peer sharing, or the streaming capability worldwide' "

      Since I cannot believe the guy could possibly be as idiotic as reported here, this is worth a second thought. After all, those dashes, which make it idiotic, are punctuation marks put in by a journalist or some other listener. Or perhaps the guy just caught his breath at the wrong moment.

      So let's try the dashes in a different place : perhaps what he actually said was, or at least meant to say, with the dashes in a diferent place :-

      "Whether it’s Bitnet, The Tor – which is 90 per cent of the Internet peer-to-peer sharing - or the streaming capability worldwide"

      Still pretty silly, but an order or two of magnitude less silly.

      1. Scroticus Canis

        Re: @Wowfood - Don't quote me on this

        Yes it does look like very poor interpretation of some other hacks idea of punctuation. As the reg author states that he doesn't know if "Bitnet" was a mistranscription or not, he obviously hasn't bothered checking with the other hack or the commissioner. Pretty poor reportage IMHO.

      2. Old Handle

        Re: @Wowfood - Don't quote me on this

        I'm inclined to believe he really is that idiotic. The reason I believe it is that I've heard this weird confusion about the "deep web" before. He didn't actually use the words "deep web" but both hidden sites (such as those on Tor) and the vast amount of non-indexed data have been called that. They are not, of course, the same thing, but some people seem to think they are. House of Cards (US version) made practically the same mistake, except this guy took it an extra step by using "The Tor" as a synonym for "the deep web", rather than an example of it.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Don't quote me on this

      Or even, "Whether its bittorrent or TOR - which together account for 90% of the internet peer-to-peer traffic..."

      Is bitnet still around? I seem to remember using it to route email from my home uni to my USA'ian exchange uni in the distant past. Something to do with using % signs as delimiters - perhaps that where the 90% comes from - its an email address

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. qwertyuiop

      If you're ever unfortunate enough to need surgery why don't you try making this comment to the surgeon who's about to operate on you, or the anaesthatist, or anybody else who will be responsible for your care? They, after all, are " the payroll of the Public Teat..." too.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        @ qwertyuiop

        ...They, after all, are " the payroll of the Public Teat..." too.

        All rules have exceptions. :-)

        Now, seriously, I've known many civil servants that use their braincells and do it for the public good, usually in 'technical' stations, like the ones you listed, and I've known many others -usually in management positions- that could be replaced by a rotten cucumber without any noticeable difference in their intellectual yield. YMMV, of course.

        1. Nuke

          @Mephistro - Re: @ qwertyuiop

          Wrote :- "I've known many civil servants that use their braincells and do it for the public good, usually in 'technical' stations"

          Indeed. I once worked as a civil servant in an Admiralty ship design and maintenance office and some of the other guys were the cleverest I ever worked with. And we worked hard; it was unusual to get away before two hours after time and the professional staff got no overtime - there were ships depending on us to get out of dock and back on patrol. With periods at sea and weeks-on-end spent away in dockyard towns the job somewhat took over our lives.

          I have been in many jobs, and the inefficiencies of some of the private sector is appaling. People say that an inefficient private company will go bust - but it won't if their competitors are even more inefficient (ever wonder why useless estate agents don't go bust? Grantham Grocer Fallacy). I have also come up against appaling inefficiencies in the more admin side of the public sector. No generalisations of the one versus the other can be made.

          Unfortunately, criticism of the Civil Service tends to be self-fulfilling. Mrs T was the worst culprit. By keep shouting that civil servants are tea-drinking w@nkers, it puts off bright young graduates from considering it as a career.

          1. Mephistro Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            @ Nuke (was Re: @Mephistro - @ qwertyuiop)

            ThumbsUp++ for the Grantham Grocer Fallacy.

            I was aware of the facts stated in your link, but I had never heard about this fallacy. Your link will come very handy in discussions with people who claims that 'free' unregulated markets will save the world.

            Every time someone reads that link, Ayn Rand spins in her grave. :-D

          2. Lamont Cranston

            Re: @Nuke

            Very well put - that Grantham Grocer article is excellent. Depressing, but excellent.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Once you "City of London Police" you've said it all.

    Sent a DC to investigate Phorn uninformed and unrequested slurping of BT users. No problem.

    Italian banker found dead under bridge. Suicide (Italian courts convicted his murderer about 20 years after the event).

    But TOR users OMFG it's the end of civilisation as we know it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Christoph Silver badge

    It's just that he's so used to that kind of percentage, since 90% of the City of London police are crooks.

    (Which is an absolutely true number that I've just made up.)

  14. charlieboywoof


    All you need to know;


    There, get it now?

  15. charlieboywoof

    Ok all you need to know:


    There that's it

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Read the paper.

    Basically it's complaining about sites with search engines like this one and how Google can't quantify their size

    No longer strictly true.

    It is true there's lots of good stuff out there, but deep <> dark.

  17. Number6

    A good example of policy-based evidence-making.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fitting the Crime to make the Punishment.

  18. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I have a hard time deciding what's worse...

    That he thinks he can make up this claptrap to push his agenda or that he'll probably get away with it.

  19. dan1980

    Just another false and/or out-of-context statistic trotted out by and paraded for the technologically-illiterate. The unfortunate part, as identified, is that it's those people who are making and enforcing laws dealing with the technology they don't understand.

    Similar statistics abound in many fields and they are at best misunderstandings and at worst out-right lies.

    These 'facts' and statistics are told to those who already believe the conjecture being espoused so they are readily accepted - "that makes sense". It confirms what that already 'knew' and justifies their own biases and fears.

    In this case, those fears are that the 'Internet' is awash with criminal actors - from 'pirates' to drug smugglers to paedophiles to terrorists - an unconscionable, lawless, haven for all those who would seek to destroy 'society'.

  20. bigtimehustler

    The city of london police should be abolished and merged into the Met, they have become far too corrupt and interested in only their agenda and those that take them out for dinner. I don't even particularly think they work to support the governments views, laws or the peoples views any longer.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      They seem to have become cops-for-hire, like their PIPCU, for instance, which are just mercenaries openly working for IP cartels...

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      That is not going to happen. There are only three clauses of Magna Carta that haven't been repealed. The one that guarantees independence to the City of London, the one that guarantees trial by jury and the one that guarantees the freedom of the Church of England.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Are you sure about #3? I'm pretty sure there was no Church Of England in 1215, only the Church Of Rome

      2. bigtimehustler

        As you say, there are only 3 that haven't been repealed, so don't you think that means there is good precedent for repealing them as becomes necessary? I would hardly say stating that a lot of repealing has gone on backs up your statement that the remaining 3 won't be. There was probably a good reason for the city of london being completely independent back then, now, not so much. Times do change.

  21. dogknees

    Article didn't address the real question.

    The question the article should have addressed is "what percentage of all stored content accessible by direct URL on any server anywhere including secure information only available to some people is visible to search engines". I'm guessing it's way less than 50%.

  22. Ribblethrop

    I read that as 90% of peer-to-peer going through TOR.


    1. Richard Wharram

      It can't do.

      a.) P2P is still a huge portion of the total internet traffic.

      b.) Tor users are still a tiny fraction of the total internet users.

      c.) P2P is very slow over Tor.

      Add it all together and 90% of P2P being through Tor doesn't stack up as a feasible claim.

      1. dogwatch

        Re: It can't do.

        From reading the comments here, the unfortunate police officer is obviously not alone in his feeble grasp of the Internet, so thanks for finally chiming in with a sanity check.

        Have an upvote - wish I could give you many!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also what does he mean by Bitnet because I'm sure that a network at Yale University has nothing to do with anything?

  24. Wibble

    Must . . control . . the . . plebs . . .

    Welcome to the free world where you're free to do anything "they" say you can do as long as you ask them first... (or let them spy on you).

    Have you got something to hide????

  25. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Next we'll hear 90% of crime in the UK is committed by <scapegoat>, where <scapegoat> is Romanians, Poles, Arabs, Mancunians, Liverpudlians, or whatever the current mantra is ... shit, have they not said that already ?

    Sherlock icon is closest I can find for law enforcement

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. TeeCee Gold badge

    I suppose it had to happen.

    With the creeping politicisation of the plod, it was only a matter of time before their top brass started spouting opinionated bollocks on subjects they know sod-all about.

    Just like real politicians do.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The love of money is a root of something

    The earth shattering new 'policy' which the commissioner seems to be instigating is to go after the money. I.e. cut off the supply for those who actually make money from IP fraud, rather than going after those who avoid spending a few quid on the latest flick because their happy to spend 3 days downloading the torrent over a network connection crippled by a limited upload bandwidth.

    That actually makes some sense, since it targets the hardened criminal who is making a living from crime. I wonder how many of the criminals are under the jurisdiction of the CoLP. Maybe the banks are though, do they act as accessories to a crime in any of this?

    AC as they might be watching...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely 90% of the "Darkweb" passes through Cheltenham?

    1. John G Imrie

      Surely 90% of the "Darkweb" passes through Cheltenham?

      And 100% of everything else

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly an error

    Does anyone honestly think this guy know what TOR even *is*?

    If you ask me, what he thinks he's talking about is BitTORrent, and he's confusing reports of file sharing data (which might have been in the right ballpark in 2009)

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Clearly an error

      It's obvious, they guy's just watched "Thor: The Dark World" and it affected him for the worse... Where were his parents, letting a politician watch a movie like that?! Won't someone please think of the children!

  31. Jim 59

    We don't know!

    I can't tell you whether Leppard said “BitTorrent” and was mis-transcribed, or whether he slipped, but I'd like to address the assertion that TOR – The Onion Router – is “90 per cent of the Internet”.

    What did Leppard mean ? We don't know.

    What did he actually say? We don't know.

    So just what is all this 90% nonsense ? We don't know.

    Did anybody think of phoning Leppard or sending a reporter round ? We don't know.

    1. Ted Treen

      Re: We don't know!

      Perhaps he doesn't hear what he's told, 'cos he's a Def Leppard...

      Coat 'n' Cab, please...

  32. /dev/null
  33. Adam Inistrator

    "Bitnet, The Tor"

    probably he was trying to say bittorrent .. which is a big wack of the net

  34. Viper1j


    I love it when people try to use words without the slightest clue of what they mean.

    The same retards probably think DOS is a new virus and a Picasso is an Italian sports car.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'The small user count completely rules out the idea that TOR users are responsible for “90 per cent” of Internet traffic. Merely to generate the same traffic as the rest of the Internet, they'd have to run a thousand times as much traffic per user as everyone else, and that's plain silly.

    Worldwide, Cisco's Visual Networking Index tells us that 29 Exabytes is sucked down the Internet's various pipes each month. If TOR users are “90 per cent” of that volume, their average monthly downloads would be nearly 10,000 GB, and the rest of us would have an average monthly download volume of just 100 kilobytes.'

    Am I misunderstanding the maths here? 10TB isn't a thousand times more traffic per user than 100KB. It's 100,000,000 times.

  36. chivo243 Silver badge

    Sounds so familiar

    "At what point does civil society say that as well as the benefits that brings, this enables huge risk and threat to our society that we need to take action against?”

    What about the time saving machine that kills many people who use it? It's called the automobile...

    I think the phase he should be looking for is "managed risk"

  37. BleedinObvious

    More likely - 90% of TOR traffic is P2P

    That would make more sense.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: More likely - 90% of TOR traffic is P2P

      No, Bittorrent for example is way bigger than TOR. You might for example use TOR to find where a bittorrent tracker is located, but that is very little data compared to the traffic you generate once you find it.

    2. Old Handle

      Re: More likely - 90% of TOR traffic is P2P

      It would make more sense, but it's still almost certainly wrong. Tor is really pretty terrible for P2P. It doesn't support UDP which almost all the P2P programs use now. At least if we're talking about file sharing. Other types of peer-to-peer network (such as Bitcoin) might do better on Tor, but it's still hard to believe they make up 90% of it.

  38. Stevie Silver badge


    Perhaps the statement was more a comment on the designer mindset than the actuality: TOR is 90% of the 'net and 10% of the misplaced desires of mankind". That sort of thing.

    Surely a London Policeman is nothing if not knowledgeable and trustworthy.

    Cor blimey guv'nor, 'oo can yer trust if not the local bobby, ay?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Usual suspect

    Hands up... Who thinks that he's been getting his info from a certain Stephen Fry?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use "The Tor" as much as possible

    In fact, my companies proxy (Blue Coat) doesn't even stop it. And no, I'm not going to tell the network or security guys either.

    I don't use it for nefarious things, I just don't like the fact that my ISP will just roll over an regurgitate my web traffic to anyone flashing a badge at them.

    Thank God for TAILS.

  41. Rick Giles

    Wireless Mesh Nodes

    Once we switch to the WMN style of networking, all of this will be a moot point and they can suck my.... <KZZZRRRRTTTT>

    [We appoligize, Mr. Giles has been detained for behavioral conditioning - NSA]

  42. Carl

    Cognitive Bias

    The commish says it's 90% because thats how much of his brain is obsessed with consipiracies.

    As well it should what with the Hillsborough cover-up. Oh wait.

  43. Jose Le Tor

    Very Interesting Data Point

    Apart from the hilarious ignorance displayed by this Protector Of The 1%, it tells us the following:

    1.) The Powers use Communications Intelligence to identify Those Who Must Be Silenced.

    2.) TOR thwarts their ability to identify said people and crack down on them. Of course they will use more concealed means than their Checka idols.

    3.) Everybody who complains about the 1% crimes better use TOR.

    4.) Matt Bryant will now explain to us why this guy is essentially correct in his utterings.

  44. lucki bstard

    Grantham Grocer Fallacy


    What a load of romantic twaddle of a supposed viewpoint of life in rural Lincolnshire. have you ever been to Lincolnshire? Ever lived there? Believe me from mine and my family's experience of leaving there from the year dot your viewpoint is just pure undergrad romantic twaddle.

    I especially despised your line of 'Life was simpler then.' A: It illustrates your romantic viewpoint of the pastoral paradise. B: It reflects your naive and foolish belief that people 'in the past' had simpler lives. Well maybe from your modern viewpoint but from their viewpoint is was just as complicated to them, as many people find their lives now. Give it some more years and the waves of nostalgia will make the 80's and 90's seem simpler even though they were not to those who lived it.

    I suggest you replace your romantic drivel with some facts. Maybe that is beyond you, but stop trying to perpetuate this ideal of a pastoral paradise, especially in Lincolnshire which was poor then and is still poor now.

    1. cyberelf

      Re: Grantham Grocer Fallacy

      @lucki bstard: "What a load of romantic twaddle of a supposed viewpoint of life in rural Lincolnshire. have you ever been to Lincolnshire?"

      Did you even read the linked-to article, it's a fully accurate criticism of Granthamism, not praise for some idyllic rural past ..

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's the only word I can think of to describe the level of incompetence exhibited by guys like this.

    One of the hallmarks of a smart exec, whether in the private or public sectors, is supposed to be knowing to keep your mouth shut when you don't know what you're talking about. That's how you maintain an aura of competence, and frankly, omniscience. But this moron just blew it big time. Kind of like that empty suit who used to run Stratfor -- you know, the global security company whose customer list included all those neocon luminaries that gave us a decade of war and occupation in the Middle East, but turned out to have maintained its customer records, complete with credit card numbers, in clear text where they could be grabbed and then splashed all over the Internet.

    If law enforcement would stop hiring all those easy to catch pimply faced script kiddies and instead retain some actual technical talent they might be able to actually put a dent in "cyber" crime -- and look good while doing it.

    But the old boys' network wouldn't stand for that, I guess. Far too many hangers-on needing jobs to make room for others based on merit.

    9-11, the London underground and Boston marathon bombing could have been prevented. Just not by the losers we had, and still have, in place to do the job.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the heads up

    I'd never heard of TOR before reading this article. I've installed it and it seems to work OK. Very useful for visiting the usually blocked :)

  47. Clive Galway


    Can we maybe not slap them with an FOI request or something that would force them to acknowledge this statement as inaccurate?

    Something like requesting a breakdown of the 90%?

  48. The BigYin

    45 minutes

    TOR users are 45 minutes away from firing chemical rockets from their super-gun.

    Time to invade TORistan and bring it freedom the the democractic use of weapons!

  49. Platelet


    I'm assuming he's accounting for the darknet that exists inside dark matter and runs on dark energy. Easy to see how that would round up to 90%

    1. 4ecks

      Re: 90%

      you forgot that it all runs over dark-fibre.

  50. ralph058

    MPAA and RIAA are blowing smoke

    The one thing MPAA and RIAA are missing is the simple fact that much of the 'pirated' media is pirated because it is free. Odds are that a large percentage, probably close to the 90%, would not download it, if they had to pay for it. I base this estimate on discussing this with my peers and not a formal survey.

    I base it one sharing tapes in the 1960s. My friends would duplicate tapes at dollar versus several dollars for the original. When I asked why they did it, they said that it was because the recording was free.

    I base it on my children doing the same in the 1980s. With the latter, the RIAA members were producing 'albums' which contained one song worth buying. My children and their peers were combining the hits into single tapes.

    Also, people will download 'free' stuff that they think they might use, but in reality probably never use.

    Now, are the media producers losing money? Yes, but it is probably at least an order of magnitude lower than they cite and probably two. In part they are losing money because they can no longer sell a single song for $19.95. If someone actually wants it, they pay $0.99.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Huge risk and threat to our society

    "At what point does civil society say that as well as the benefits that brings, this enables huge risk and threat to our society that we need to take action against?”

    Nobody ever got injured by a rude msg on the Intertubes, and the only threat is crypto-fasists being exposed on such sites as Wikileaks. If you've done nothing wrong then you've got nothing to hide.

  52. JustWondering
    Thumb Down

    Well ...

    If the facts don't fit,

    You must bullshit.

  53. JaitcH

    Just another Plod with an overactive imagination ...

    must think he is giving evidence in court where so many lies are told - by prosecution and defence witnesses.

  54. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    excellent commentary, chaps

    For the first time in ages, I've been throwing out upvotes like they're confetti (and just as cheap---make of that what you will).

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG! TOR ate my Brain!

    90% of it anyway.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Copying

    Had this argument re. DVD players.

    A lot of newer drives have a fairly large memory, spin up the disk once and copy a big chunk (several hundred MB) and play from that.

    This allows useful little features like upscaling, read ahead and progressive error correction so the newer players are much more robust when knocked or fed dirty/damaged disks.

    According to MPAA this is "copying" so anyone that owns one of these players is in technical breach of the law.

    Folks who copy disks to hard drive aren't actually doing any more than what happens anyway, which is why personal format shifting should be legalized.

  57. PhillW
    Big Brother

    Here come the start of the tsunami

    "Dark net 'used by tens of thousands of paedophiles'"

    Zulus........ Thousands of them!!!!

  58. Alister Silver badge

    It's amazing how predictable this is becoming.

    Back in August of last year, I wrote the following comment in a thread on the Reg (here)

    "I notice that certain sections of the UK press have cottoned on to the use of the Tor network, and have labelled it "a tool of paedos".

    It would not surprise me if we soon see calls for knee-jerk legislation to try and block anonymising services, VPNs and encryption software."

    Unfortunately, it looks like this is close to becoming true.

  59. This post has been deleted by its author

  60. scj

    I'll smoke what he's been smoking.

    Next time we want his opinion, we'll ask him to fart.

  61. Nathanial Wapcaplet

    Looking at this in context of a non-tor, non-pirating, law-abiding UK taxpayer and voter, it seems quite simple. That is to say, it seems to me that a person in a position of power is amplifying risks over (at least) 100-fold (probably 1000-fold) to influence political and financial decisions.

    Smells like something actionable to me, at worst, incompetently informed and out of touch, at worst, deliberate lies?

  62. lucki bstard

    Life was simpler then - redux

    @ Cyberelf

    'Life was simpler then' Section 1, 1st paragraph, last 4 words.

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