In this episode I was joined by Jamie Bartlett, author of The Dark Net: Inside the digital underworld. The Dark Net explores the vast and hidden network of sites that engines like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can’t access. It’s a world where people can be anyone they want and largely do anything they want. It’s a world occupied by bitcoin, self-harmers, illegal drugs and cyber (and all too real) terrorism.
Jamie was an excellent guest and thankfully his book avoided the alarmist tone of many explorations of the dark net. Jamie interviewed people involved in the birth and growth of the most infamous corners of the web. Jamie tells the story of his journey through the dark web, and the story of those he met along the way, in a balanced and informative way. We meet trolls, a man convicted of possession of child porn, those tasked with policing online paedophilia, self-harmers, and a familiar camgirl (Vex Ashley).
Our conversation included the following topics:
- What motivates the online trolls.
- What The Onion Router (TOR) is and how it works.
- Jim Bell’s essay “Assassination politics.”
- The desensitising nature of the internet.
- What bitcoin is and how it works.
- Pro-anorexia and Pro-suicide forums.
- Jamie’s belief that parents should go to the sites he mentions in his book to better understand how they work.
Enjoy the episode. Dave