Certain actors spam Tor by creating many duplicate websites under different .onion domains and then linking them to each other. The cost of doing that is pretty low, considering that all you need is creating a new public key pair (the onion domain is the hash of the public key). In theory anyone can create an infinite number of onion domains.
Sadly, bad actors are using this spam technique also for promoting websites with child exploitation content. The motivation behind creating many onion domains for essentially the same website (sometimes with rotating the content slightly for each copy) is likely to increase coverage by Tor search engines.
Since those spam websites provide 0 value and often host illegal content, we have decided to completely delete them from our search index. We are also reporting child exploitation content to organizations that work together with law enforcement. There are also technical considerations why we want to refrain from indexing spam content: Our crawlers should be busy with indexing actual onion websites and storage and system resources should not be wasted for content that has no value.
Detecting Spam Onion Domains
The spam websites are typically SEO optimized – after all that is why the spam technique is used in the first place. This means that they have descriptive meta tags in the HTML data, as well as domain names that may indicate the type of content.
Therefore, our algorithms take the following into consideration to fingerprint websites to classify as spam:
Our algorithms have removed:
June 2021: New Usenet data category We added the new data category Usenet. It contains historical and current data from Usenet, which is “a worldwide distributed discussion system”. Today, Usenet is mostly used for piracy. This new category stores currently 209,469,453 selectors and is expected to grow substantially. Improved inline statistics We have improved the
Intelligence X supports Peernet – Founder’s Statement I am excited to announce Peernet, a decentralized network that allows sharing of data freely without censorship and restrictions. Here is the pitch deck: https://peernet.org/dl/Peernet%20Deck.pdf Peernet is making quick progress from its inception as I am finalizing the whitepaper and developing the core library. I would like to
February 2021: Launch of the European Internet Archive The European Internet Archive just launched! 🎉🥳 ➡ https://archive.eu/ 225 TLDs added to the list of web crawling We have added 225 top-level domains (TLDs) to the list of web crawling. Find the full list and how we are categorizing them in this blog post. Our dataset