So time for a mini rant. Unix_guru, aka Michael Ball, has been arrested and charged with quite a few things related to child pornography. I recently had a former colleage who did the same thing. I'm not going to go into the whole "monsters under our noses" thing as I knew both and never suspected a thing from either. No, this is a different rant.

Listening to the lastest episode of Darknet Diaries, I have decided to unsubscribe and express my dissapointment in the host, Jack Rhysider.

I've had some issue with Jack in the past with the way he draws conclusions on some of his stories, but this latest one was just mind boggling to me.

Before I get into it, I want it to be known that I was a huge fan of the show, having listened to it since the first episode and recommending it to friends and family for some of the great stories, but not any longer.

The latest episode dealt with Kik, an IM app, and how prolific child porn was on the platform.

Fun fact - I applied to work at Kik as a Security Engineer back in 2018. I ultimately turned them down, but I thought this was interesting.

The guests were the usual mix of hackers or other underground individuals, but there was a difference with one of them. Jack altered his voice, which was a first as far as I can recall. Why?

Well, later in the episode you hear that this guy was also trading in this ilicit material. Not producing, but distributing.

Surely this guy is going to prison, right? That's why Jack is speaking with him now? Nope. This guy reached out to Jack asking what to do, because he suddenly had grown a concious and wanted to know what to do. See, he's a porn collector, and he just happened to collect some CP as well. What does Jack say to do? Delete it and just stop dealing with it, and act as if it never happened.

No Jack, some lines should never be crossed. EVER.

Being a hacker is all about exploring boundaries and challenging norms. I do draw the line at hacks and such that cause harm to everyday people, and I sure as hell have no patience when it comes to hurting innocents like children.

This "porn trader" fits that "out of bounds" definition. I don't care if he's just trading itl he's *enabling* it. Telling them to just get rid of the evidence makes you an accessory, so WTF?!

Podcasters are not journalists, we don't have to protect our sources. Plus some of the logic jumps and arguments in this episode were just too much for me.

I've unsubscribed from Darknet Diaries. I've never been a Patreon supporter, but if I were then I would have been crazy pissed off about this.

Everyone is free to decide what they find acceptable for content, but this one was just too much for me. /fin


I listened to Darknet Diaries for a little while, but I just wasn't a fan of the production style. I don't like hearing someone explain a concept only for the host to come in during voice over to redundantly reword the point. If I'm listening in on a conversation, I don't need that spoon feeding nonsense. Given the story you told, now there's even less reason for me to bother trying that show again.

@Ent Yes, he's more appealing to a wider, non-technical audience. Some of his explanations are ... questionable at times. I mainly listened in for the guests, but I'm also not a huge fan. He seems to be mimicking the Freakonomics podcast, which arguably does it better.

To be honest this is part of the reason I stopped my own podcast. I've seen too many hosts (not including our godfather) becoming more of a mouthpiece than a practitioner.

@Ent My point being that they talk a better game than they can do themselves, and often get caught up in saying the wrong thing, but in such an authoritative way that it's really off-putting. I decided it was better to spend my time honing my own craft and doing better for myself rather than trying to track down guests, etc. I miss it at times, but then I remember the work it took and the feeling quickly fades.

Makes sense. Shows based on talking to guests can certainly be spotty, too. No idea how the guest is going to work with the host's style, etc. Most of the shows I listen to are long form regular shows that are conversations between the regular co-hosts. In the case of InfoSec topics, Security Now has been a long time favorite of mine. Definitely something to be said about honing your craft, certainly a different skill set than putting on a show

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Infosec Exchange

A Mastodon instance for info/cyber security-minded people.