Three MuckRock users filed FOIA requests from 2013 to 2015 for FBI files on The Tor Project, Inc., the developer of Tor. The software enables (in theory) untraceable access to both the regular internet and a network of websites inaccessible through other browsers, commonly called the “dark web.” Each request returned radically different sets of records, most predating the first request, and all linked only by their lack of substantial information.
The NSA has a well-earned reputation for being one of the tougher agencies to get records out of, making those rare FOIA wins all the sweeter. In the case of Untangling the Web, the agency’s 2007 guide to internet research, the fact that the records in question just so happen to be absolutely insane are just icing on the cake - or as the guide would put it, “the nectar on the ambrosia.”
Terrorism analysts have noted how savvy the Islamic State is on social media. The White House and think tanks alike point to Twitter support for ISIS as a key metric for the group’s strength. Similar worries once swirled around MySpace and Second Life as platforms for recruiting homegrown jihadists.