This week on 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl and producer Shachar Bar-On got an early look at Memex, a powerful new search engine developed by DARPA, the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The inventor of Memex, Chris White, sat down with Stahl and Bar-On and explained how Memex works–and how it could revolutionize law enforcement investigations.
“The internet is much, much bigger than people think,” White said. “By some estimates Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo only give us access to around 5% of the content on the Web.” That leaves a lot of room for bad actors to operate freely in the shadows.
White says that Memex goes far beyond the realm of traditional search engines and gives law enforcement a powerful new tool to search the “dark web,” where criminals buy, sell, and advertise in the illegal weapons trade and sex trafficking.
“The easiest way to think about Memex is: How can I make the unseen seen?” said Dan Kaufman, director of the information innovation office at DARPA.
“Most people on the internet are doing benign and good things,” Kaufman said. “But there are parasites that live on there, and we take away their ability to use the internet against us– and make the world a better place.”