Canada’s federal police service is investing in software that, it hopes, will let it shed light onto the darkest regions of the deep internet.
The money, part of a wide-reaching program aimed at defense and security research, will be spent developing software to trace and monitor supposedly nefarious activity on the darknet — a series of encrypted sites that advertise everything from human trafficking to hitmen.
The Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) is a funding regime that provides resources to various public safety, policing, and military programs run in conjunction with government departments. Previous rounds of funding have contributed to products that can track explosives, equipment that can detect drugs from their vapors, and training to protect Canada’s energy infrastructure from cyber attacks.
The most recent cash infusion, worth some $12 million for 24 projects, focuses on everything from efforts to combat radicalization in Muslim communities, to defusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and technology targeting drones.
Perhaps the most politically-charged and potentially controversial project is run by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and two technology firms.
The RCMP, the government stated, “will lead a project to develop and implement a web-crawler to explore anonymous and dark regions of the internet and identify content of interest to national security and law enforcement communities.”
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