[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)
Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum?
No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims?
That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft?
Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids?
I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up.
Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness?
Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird?
there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More?
It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about
I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends?
Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms ￼ The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals ￼ People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn ￼ Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think?
Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines?
There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods.
If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web?
I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web?
A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web?
It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs?
I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks!
I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them....
I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in?
Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat?
OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤
he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web?
There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web?
Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive?
I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety?
I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret?
We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work.
Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help?
Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help?
I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome.
I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line.
Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash?
I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all.
Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare?
No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies?
I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it.
Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account.
No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series
Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon?
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia?
The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon?
Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk)
No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR?
I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply!
Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke?
I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped?
The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts!
Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents?
I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business?
Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is?
Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible?
It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it??
Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way?
I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code.
It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity?
I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature?
Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
"Read.cash Founder Threatens Ban & Permanent Fund Blacklist of 100 Users by Midnight London Time Tonight" Response from the read.cash founder
(Sorry that I post it here, the letters will be small, it would have been much better on read.cash, but it contains personal attacks on C. Edward Kelso and Shammah Chancellor, so I would have to ban me on read.cash for this post) This is probably the most personal story I've ever published on the Internet on how your project will come back to haunt you and destroy your mind and your life. CoinSpice should find enough "juicy" details here to humiliate me even further, I think they still could! I believe in their potential! Should I send you my nudes to post, CoinSpice, for you new article? (No, I'm not a girl, in case you're wondering) Enjoy it if you like long reads. Warning: it contains quite a few jabs at some people. So, you might have read this "piece" from afriendofsatoshi C. Edward Kelso Chief editor of CoinSpice https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/i067py/readcash_founder_threatens_ban_permanent_fund/fznpi0x/ I'm really disappointed in CoinSpice. Anecdote from the past about them: my interview with them was terribly handled. I started the interview with them with "English is not my native language, so feel free to fix any errors you see in my answer", what did they write in CoinSpice? "We were able to determine that he is not a native English speaker" Seriously, "were able to determine", Sherlock?... why did you even need to publish that? To add a bit of a sensation? But this new piece from CoinSpice just breaks through the floor... I'm speechless... If you are ever offered to being interviewed by CoinSpice - run away! Save yourself!
28 July, 2020 An uneventful day on read.cash, people posting pictures of flowers, telling stories how they met their spouses, doing contests about who will sponsor whom, posting articles about teamwork and interviews with prominent Bitcoin Cash figures. Seriously, read.cash guys interviewed tons of Bitcoin Cash supporters (After the interview with CoinSpice I never gave anoter interview to anyone fearing it will be exactly unprofessional as CoinSpice - trying to get every little dirt the could dig out there) micropresident (the guy who does not yet know he's going to, very professionally, like a normal stable developer he is, later go on to tell me "fuck read.cash") publishes a contest where he calls for memes that contain the following phrases: "Amaury the Socialist Dictator", "Marc De Mesel is Calvin Ayre Lite") promising up to 2 BCH in return (I believe, I didn't read his rules) for these memes. Since a lot of read.cash users are from Philippines, Nigeria and other poor countries, where $300 is a lot of money (maybe something you will make in a year), people proceed to create these memes. This goes directly against the rules of the site that everyone must agree before they sign up, directly violating the rule: "No name-calling, trash-talking, personal attacks or insults." I log in to read.cash and notice the homepage full of low quality posts attacking Amaury, Marc, ABC, upvoted to no end, tons of boosted posts and Shammah giving $$ left and right for this stuff. I publish 2 responses where I tell people to remove the memes that contain personal attacks or face a ban. https://read.cash/@Read.Cash/the-state-of-things-33c3d68a and https://read.cash/@Read.Cash/post-a4935cbd Most of the people agreed and removed the offending memes and had no problem with it, many said they were sorry. u/micropresident in a very professional manner proceeds to tell us to "fuck [ourselves]" and tells he's building a clone (non-moderated I presume). He also quotes us very calmly and professionally adding: "Complete bullshit" referring to rules of read.cash CoinSpice proceeds to publish the "celebrity upskirt" kind of article "Read.cash Founder Threatens Ban & Permanent Fund Blacklist of 100 Users by Midnight London Time Tonight". Emphasis mine, I just can't stand this kind of language... this is yellow press at best. It only lacks "Reason #2 will shock you!" in the title... So, back to the story.
Why do we even have this rule?
Is it because I'm an egomaniac that hates people? Is it because I'm secretly funded by BSV? Is it because Marc de Mesel donated nearly $100,000 to the fund? Is it because I love censoring people? No, no and no. It's because I want Bitcoin Cash adoption. I frankly wanted Bitcoin adoption since 2013, alas, the tiny blocks and huge fees won't allow that. So I had to switch to Bitcoin Cash which kept Bitcoin idea going. Do you have a friend that is not deep into cryptocurrency? Tell him/her to join the Crypto Twitter. They will look at it for five minutes and tell you: "Are you crazy? These people are constantly attacking and mocking each other. What if I do something wrong? Why are they doing it? Are they mentally ill? Is this really the money of the future?" This will be his answer for nearly every site or platform that talks about cryptocurrency. It's everywhere. But with Bitcoin Cash somehow it's very ingrained into the nature. I understand, Bitcoin Cash was attacked so often that it became a second nature of some people to attack everything they don't like. Don't like Amaury? Let's attack him! Why? Don't care! I just don't like him! Don't like Marc de Mesel? Let's attack him! Don't like CSW and Calvin? - Let's attack them. - But why? They don't do anything bad to us now. - Wait, are you one of THEM? Let's attack or you'll be attacked! Fuck you, you and you and read.cash, fuck yeah! Attaccckkk!!! This all seems totally crazy to a newcomer. But what do we want to achieve with read.cash? Getting newcomers to use Bitcoin Cash. Without the drama or craziness. Just some flower pictures. Up until 28 July, 2020 this was the case. People were posting innocent pictures, got payments from the fund, tipped each other, sponsored each other, yelled at me for not getting paid enough. Occasionally, we had some dissenters, like *****, who proceeded to tell spammers that they are "fucking cunts", got a warning for that, left forever, deleting all articles, returned, started attacking people again, got banned for that, started telling people on memo.cash how stupid read.cash is because we didn't manually ban the spammers and wasted time programming software to detect them... Ok, weird thing - she seems to recommend people to join read.cash now, which is confusing, so I removed her name. Then there were people who wasted hours upon hours of my day by asking stupid questions, who got blocked (from me, not from read.cash)... But mostly things were okay with read.cash (not with me though). We've got 12,000 users, very few incidents, the fund got a donation from Marc de Mesel for nearly $100,000 which will pay new users for a year or so. We gave away money to 5,700 people (for free)! I want to stress one part here. Marc has donated (unconditionally) more than 97% of the fund. More than 30 times more than all of the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem combined donated. Read that part again. Marc donated 30 times more than everyone else in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem combined! Unconditionally. I haven't received any condition about the donation use. Marc even told us that he's willing to donate much more! Which we hastily declined, because read.cash is not profitable and it doesn't make sense to spend more than we would have gotten from ads if we were monetized. read.cash can't be living off donations forever. It's unsustanable. So we spend via the fund approximately what we would have gotten if read.cash was plastered with ads. But again, 12,000 users of read.cash is 97% MarcDeMesel's achievement. That's 12,000 users of Bitcoin Cash. Isn't "adoption" what you wanted? Yet, the guy who said "fuck read.cash!", all the while getting top payments from the read.cash fund, proceeds to create a contest about "Marc is Calvin Ayre Lite"... Told that this is a personal attack, replies "Complete bullshit!" (exact quote) Note: Marc is actually OK with memes about him and asked us directly to revert our policy to allow the [offensive] memes It wasn't Marc's initiative, it was mine. And it wasn't only Marc who were being mocked. I'll admit right here - I don't like Amaury's actions, I don't like IFP (and I listed my reasons), but I'll warn/ban anyone directly attacking him on read.csah (not his thoughts, but just him). Wanna discuss how Amaury's idea about DAA is bad? Feel free! Wanna call him an idiot? Welcome to ban'sville, population - you. Well, usually a warning, then a ban if you insist on doing that. The same will go for CSW, Calvin or anyone anywhere.
Are you crazy? Did you just say you'll protect CSW and Calvin? We've got a BSV shill here! Attackkk!!!!
No, no and no. We have no funds from BSV (as far as I know, the fund is non-custodial and permissionless - anyone can donate and cancel at any time), I've never contacted Calvin or CSW and I've been attacked by BSV people on multiple occasions and was accused of being a BSV shill on multiple occasions (besides people telling me to "fuck [my project]"). One thing I figured early on is that if you allow people to do something, you need to apply that rule to everyone. Otherwise, you are a hippocrite and you should hang your head in shame. If you allow people to mock and denigrate Amaury, Marc, BSV, BTC supporters, that's the fine line that you'll have to keep later on, when BTC and BSV supporters come. How come you're allowing people to mock a BTC supporter, yet you protect a BCH supporter? That's dishonest. So we will have to allow BTC and BSV supporters to mock us and denigrate us. Because that's the rule. You allowed it! They will be right. So if we allow people to attack other people (even if I don't like them), everybody would be entitled to attack everybody. That's where you start your journey to becoming a Crypto Twitter, where you will be attacked for nothing, where a snowball will roll on you (it did on me, but thats another story), where people would start to stalk you and try to ruin your life, because you like the coin they don't like. That's a place which normal people won't ever join. Read it again: No adoption for you, no world money! So, you either have "no censorship" (which is really moderation) or you have normal people. Choose one, choose wisely, you won't be able to change it later. We chose "normal people". The plan was working fine (almost) until the eventful post. But I will not revert this policy. I hope I explained why.
Koush: But you allow worse crimes to happen on read.cash!
Ok, here's a yellow press sensation worthy of coinspice.io! Listen carefully! #1 will shock you! I am... one guy. Yes, read.cash is a one-man shitshow. I'm the backend developer, I'm the frontend developer, I'm the system administrator, I'm the moderator, I'm the policy maker, I'm the one who replies to 100+ emails daily on [email protected], I'm the one getting up to 200 notifications per day on read.cash, I'm the one who writes articles, I'm the one who wakes up at night when a server fails, I'm the one who logged 1000 hours developing read.cash according to my IDE's time tracking plugin, I'm the one responsible for the bug that took your money, I'm the one who returned you your money, I'm the one fighting spam, I'm the one writing code to catch spammers, I'm read.cash. I'm the one responsible to keep 7,500 comments per day (that's one comment every 10 seconds, 24/7), 800 articles per day, 400 short posts per day clean. See the stats yourself, the damn thing is growing and growing... It is an impossible task. But I do read every one of 100+ reports sent to me per day. And each one of them is a moral dilemma for me - what to do here. This guy has copied an article from the Internet, but edited it so that it looks like another article, what do I do here? Ok, this guy is posting non-sense - is that against rules? It's surely annoying, but doesn't violate the rules. What to do here? Now try this 100 times a day. This guy, Koush, I know, he's a good guy, but now he's attacking the only guy who really helped read.cash when no one else did? WTF do I do here? That's why I'm always telling people to report anything that they see that violates rules. I can't be everywhere. I can't make the right decision every time too. I'm a regular fucking person. Two legs, two hands, one medium-sized brain. Ok, to be honest, a few months ago I asked a developer friend to join me to help (paid with my own money, not using read.cash fund for that), so he helps some 10 hours per month. That helps, surely, not enough. Though I'll still call read.cash we, as it is still a registered company. BTW To be clear - I never got any money from the read.cash fund, but I spent more than $5,000 giving away. Here's a screenshot from an internal tool that I call "the random rewarder": https://i.imgur.com/ucQEvVM.png As you can see, I'm entitled to about $1.31 - $1.39 for today, but I get $0.00. That was always the case, because I strongly believe that I must give it to people of read.cash to attract new users. I also gave away 100% of the funds that came to me as tips on read.cash. BTW Did you notice that on the screenshot the guy who said "Marc de Mesel is Calvin Ayre Lite" and "fuck read.cash" got the top payment from the fund, which is at the moment 97% funded by Marc de Mesel? My friend, the developer, who joined me, told me a few days ago: "I read your history on read.cash, you sound progressively ..." "..depressive and passively aggressive," I ended his sentence, "I know." Yes, I know. I'm pretty passive agressive already, because every day I met with demands from users. "Why am I not getting paid?" "I work for read.cash for 8 hours a day, why is my pay so low?" "I sent some money and now I have $0.01 less than I should?" "How do I get sponsors?" "I think this guy is cheating!" "Hey, our family of 20 people joined read.cash and it says that I have 19 colocated accounts on the same IP! That's not true!" I loathe my morning, when I open my email and there's 50 new alerts from Sentry, there are 100+ emails from users demanding stuff from me, accusing me of being unfair, wrong, an idiot, telling me "fuck read.cash"! etc.. etc.. etc.. daily grind.. I never experienced anything like that. I was always a lead developer or manager managing small teams of 5-10 people. Nothing close to this shit I experience now. You get progressively less sensitive. You start to think that it's ok to just delete an email, since you can't reply to everyone. You can't research why someone of 12,000 people didn't get paid, since the algorithms are now so complex that you yourself will have to spend a week just researching one guy why he gets $0.10 instead of maybe $0.50... you have no idea who your users are. The project is out of your control. But you can't do anything, because it's not profitable enough to even cover the server costs, let alone hire additional programmer or a support guy. Then one day you log and see the beautiful garden full of dog shit. Crappy memes. A guy telling you "fuck you, there's $25K for the clone of this!" Thank God Shammah didn't offer that $25K for my head... You find this about the only guy who really helped read.cash with money and demanded nothing in return (not a single condition was made) being compared to a midget version of a guy who was in a FBI Top Wanted list! Again, Marc says he's ok with this, I'm not! Whoever did this meme is an asshole, I don't have any other words for this human. (Yes, I would have been banned on read.cash for this alone. You can ban me here, I no longer care...) You find yourself increasingly grumpy, angry towards those around you, your family, because everybody is angry at you in the Internet, people are demanding and people is attacking the only people you can trust (Roger, Marc)... You think about your previous nice cozy job. You think about 5 recruiters sending you daily mails to just name the price to join their company. You realize that these 9 months you could have made maybe $100,000, maybe $200,000 sitting on your ass, managing 5-10 people like you always did.. Instead you spent 9 months, $5,000 in Bitcoin Cash, got grumpy and depressed. You start to ponder why you do this and whether you should even continue. That's your future, Mr. Shammah Chancellor! That's the reality of running a social media platform with cryptocurrency. I will be happy to see your platform, Mr. "fuck read.cash", grow and flourish, but I warn you - it's not going to cost you $25K, but much much more. It's going to eat you alive if you are mildly successful with it and you have a little bit of conscience. You will be attacked, you will be spammed. People will tell you "fuck you!" I honestly have no idea why you think you will fare better than yours.org or honest.cash... What's your advantage? being censorship free, so that people can shit and pee on each other? Then one day 9 months later, 12,000 users, $50,000 in tips later, a guy will come in and tell you "Fuck you, Shammah and your project! Fuck you! I'm building a clone for $5K of this shit of a platform!" You will look at the clock where it's 8pm, you will look at your inbox, where there's still 50 more people yelling at you.. you'll ponder why do you even do this... That day you'll understand me, Mr. Chancellor. Or maybe not, I have no idea what kind of a human being you are. Maybe you're reading this and laughing madly: "poor pussy can't take a beating! boo-hoo! Get off the internet, you wuss!" Maybe that's your thoughts, I don't know. You certainly don't seem to care about other people's feelings dismissing them as "complete bullshit". Well kept gardens die by pacifism is a wonderful read about this.
Somewhere in the vastness of the Internet, it is happening even now. It was once a well-kept garden of intelligent discussion, where knowledgeable and interested folk came, attracted by the high quality of speech they saw ongoing. But into this garden comes a fool, and the level of discussion drops a little—or more than a little, if the fool is very prolific in their posting. (It is worse if the fool is just articulate enough that the former inhabitants of the garden feel obliged to respond, and correct misapprehensions—for then the fool dominates conversations.)
Peace, and out. P.S. I remind people that there's an ongoing fundraiser going for mainnet.cash, so anyone agreeing with "fuck read.cash" policy of Mr. Chancellor should cancel their donations while there's still time. It's very easy to cancel. Don't give your money to idealistic fools like me. P.P.S. I blocked u/afriendofsatoshi, so somebody please forward it to him so he can humiliate me further, only on coinspice.io! Subscribe now!
Futures Falls On Chip Carnage As World Await Brexit Verdict
Stocks in Europe faded early gains and S&P futures fell after a mixed session in Asia as chip stocks were taken to the woodshed on poor guidance from Nvidia and Applied Materials sparked fears that the chip bull run is over, while investors wondered whether China and America can de-escalate their trade war after mixed signals by US officials just days before the G-20 summit. The euro failed to rebound while the sterling halted its biggest drop in 2 years after some of the most dramatic 24 hours yet in the Brexit process and another turbulent week for world markets. With reports of a UK leadership coup still rife and fear that the country could crash out of the EU without an agreement, cable struggled to rise above $1.28. Meanwhile traders around the world were waiting for an outcome from the ongoing Brexit saga: “If and when a vote on the withdrawal agreement occurs is uncertain. Whether the withdrawal bill is passed by both houses of Parliament is uncertain,” Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist at CBA, said in a note. “Whether the Prime Minister resigns or is challenged for the leadership is uncertain. And, whether there is a second referendum and/or an election is uncertain.” Fears over political turmoil in the UK and Italy dragged Europe's Stoxx 600 back into the red, set for its first weekly drop in three, trimming Friday’s gain as AstraZeneca's drop weighed on the gauge after a cancer-drug setback while telecom names were outperforming. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates. Not helping sentiment, ECB head Mario Draghi said the bank still plans to dial back its stimulus at the end of the year, but acknowledged the economy had hit a soft patch and inflation may rise more slowly than expected. “If firms start to become more uncertain about the growth and inflation outlook, the squeeze on margins could prove more persistent,” Draghi told a conference. Earlier in the day, Asian shares ended the session in the red (MSCI Asia -0.2% to 151.52), led lower by declines in Japan, even as China and Hong Kong rose after initial reports the United States might pause further China tariffs were denied by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who damped hopes of any imminent trade deal with China. The Nikkei fell 0.6% pressured by a drop in the USDJPY after China Mofcom began an investigation into alleged dumping of machine tools by Japanese firms. The Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) swung between gains and losses after continued liquidity inaction by the PBoC which skipped Reverse Repos for a 16th consecutive occasion. S&P futures were hit on fresh slowdown concerns, this time out of the semiconductochip space, after Nvidia gave a dire sales forecast, projecting a 20% drop in revenue while a disappointing outlook from Applied Materials indicated the chip industry is holding off on expansion plans in the face of a murky outlook for electronics demand. The chipmaking sector saw another bout of selling in Asia, wiping at least $11.2 billion in market value amid signals that demand for servers, personal computers and mobile is falling. Also falling after hours were shares of AMD and Intel, dragging Nasdaq futures lower. "It started with Apple, then Nvidia ... Since performances of these companies set the tone for the global tech and chip industries, related Japanese stocks will likely be sluggish for a while,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after Fed Chairman Powell flagged his concern over potential headwinds for the U.S. economy, while the pound staged a modest rebound on reports that some pro-Brexit ministers decided to stay in their governmental posts. The pound gained as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May defied demands to quit and amid reports her environment secretary wouldn’t resign, following the resignation of several ministers Thursday. The yen rallied as trade stress simmered, with investors trying to gauge whether China and the U.S. can de-escalate their dispute. Also under water was the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which hit a one-year trough overnight. It had tumbled 10 percent early in the week when support at $6,000 gave way. It was last changing hands at $5,500 on the Bitstamp platform. Treasuries were steady while 10-year yields on German bonds were set for their biggest weekly fall in three weeks, in a sign that the Brexit uncertainty and worries about Italy’s finances, continued to support demand. Italian bonds edged higher even as European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore that the country’s government was openly defying EU budget rules. Emerging-market currencies consolidated recent gains while oil prices extended their rebound. Oil prices rose, helped by a decline in U.S. fuel stockpiles and the possibility of a cut in OPEC output. Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.1%) are both in the green and continuing their rebound seen yesterday with WTI hovering around USD 57.00bbl. Energy newsflow remains light, post-yesterday's DoE report, however, Iraq’s North Oil Co. have announced that they have resumed Kiruk oil exports heading towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Looking ahead, the main highlight on the calendar will be the Baker Hughes rig count. Elsewhere, natural gas futures are relatively steady after their 19% decline yesterday which came in the wake of a 20% increase the day before. In geopolitical news, US Republican and Democrat Senators filed a bipartisan bill seeking to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to war in Yemen and killing of journalist. North Korean Leader Kim inspected test of new high-tech tactical weapons, according to Yonhap citing North Korean state media Today's data include October industrial production and capacity utilization. Viacom is among companies reporting earnings Market Snapshot
S&P500 futures down 0.3% to 2,725.25
STOXX Europe 600 down 0.01% to 358.38
MXAP down 0.2% to 151.52
MXAPJ up 0.2% to 486.84
Nikkei down 0.6% to 21,680.34
Topix down 0.6% to 1,629.30
Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 26,183.53
Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 2,679.11
Sensex up 0.5% to 35,446.11
Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 5,730.55
Kospi up 0.2% to 2,092.40
Brent futures up 1.2% to $67.41/bbl
Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,216.36
U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.93
German 10Y yield rose 0.8 bps to 0.368%
Euro up 0.2% to $1.1346
Italian 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 3.12%
Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 1.617%
Top Overnight News
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has laid out a scenario for a pause in the central bank’s interest-rate hiking campaign sometime next year by highlighting potential headwinds to the U.S. economy.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is defying demands to quit as she battles to keep control of her fractious government long enough to deliver a Brexit deal that’s drawn ire from across the political spectrum.
Pro-Brexit ministers Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom have decided together not to quit the government, Times reporter Tim Shipman said on Twitter.
ECB’s Draghi sees no reason for expansion to come to abrupt end, he said at an event in Frankfurt, Germany.
PG&ECorp. rallied as much as 49 percent in extended trading Thursday after the head of the California Public Utilities Commission said he can’t imagine allowing the state’s largest utility to go into bankruptcy as it faces billions of dollars in potential liability from deadly wildfires
Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp. have been contacted by U.S. criminal investigators for information about transactions they handled for a small bank branch in Estonia that’s at the center of one of the biggest money-laundering investigations in history, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Asia-Pac stocks traded indecisively as the region lacked fresh catalysts and as uncertainty regarding Brexit and US-China trade played on investor’s minds. ASX 200 (-0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) were choppy with outperformance of tech and mining names in Australia overshadowed by a lacklustre broader market, while the Japanese benchmark was subdued by mild flows into the JPY and after China Mofcom began an investigation into alleged dumping of machine tools by Japanese firms. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) swung between gains and losses after continued liquidity inaction by the PBoC which skipped OMOs for a 16th consecutive occasion, while participants were also tentative amid ongoing trade uncertainty after conflicting reports regarding the next round of China tariffs being placed on hold which USTR Lighthizer later denied. Finally, 10yr JGBs were mildly higher with prices underpinned amid an indecisive tone seen in stocks and with the BoJ also present in the market for JPY 680bln of JGBs in the belly to super-long end. Top Asian News - China’s Kindergarten Crackdown Is the Latest Disaster for Stocks - Modi Is Said to Enlist Tata for Jet Airways Rescue Ahead of Vote - Philippines Shuts 3 Miners, Suspends 9 Others After Review - Indian Central Bank Board to Discuss Surplus Funds Transfer European equities trade relatively flat (Eurostoxx 50 +0.2%) in the wake of mixed trade headlines overnight for the US and China. Performance across European indices is relatively equal whilst focus once again falls on the FTSE 100 (U/C) which remains at the whim of Brexit-inspired fluctuations in the GBP. Once again, potential upside for the index is being capped by losses in domestically focused banking names (RBS -3.0%, Lloyds -2.1%) as Brexit uncertainty continues to dampen investor sentiment. In terms of sector specifics, most sectors are trading higher with mild outperformance seen in telecom names. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates. Top European News
Finnish Software Company Basware Is Said to Explore Sale
Vauxhall Owner Said to Weigh Closing a Factory Post-Brexit
Amid Brexit Gloom, Deutsche Bank Sees Frankfurt as Next London
Nyrstar Surges on Hopes Over Trafigura Refinancing Talks
GBP- The Pound is not the biggest net mover for a change, but still one of the most volatile and vulnerable as Cable pivots 1.2800 and EuGbp trades between 0.8850-80. The fall-out from Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting continues as UK PM May strives to sell the Brexit draft, but facing a rising rebellion within the Conservative Party that appears to have reached the critical mass required to trigger a no confidence vote. However, some positive news with a key Minister deciding not to follow others out of the Government, as Gove opts to stay rather than go. In terms of technical impulses, Cable is holding above yesterday’s 1.2725 low, ahead of chart support around 1.2710-00 that protects mtd and ytd troughs at 1.2696 and 1.2662 respectively, while near term resistance is seen around 1.2836 before 1.2850, but 1 bn option expiries at 1.2800 could well exert more influence into the NY cut. For EuGbp, several MAs form support blow 0.8850 and the 100 DMA at 0.8910 may hamper further gains if0.8900 is breached.
JPY- Maintaining a firm underlying safe-haven bid as broad risk sentiment remains fragile and China is reportedly investigating machine dumping by Japan – Usd/Jpy near the bottom of a 113.20-65 range.
EUCAD/CHF- All narrowly mixed vs the Greenback, with the single currency keeping afloat of 1.1300 and eyeing a Fib at 1.1358, while the Loonie is holding recent recovery gains through 1.3200 as oil prices continue their rebound and the Franc meanders between 1.0075-50 vs 1.1000+ earlier this week when the broad Dollar and DXY were in the ascendency (index well above 97.000 vs just below the figure presently).
EM- The Lira is off best levels, but still relatively bid after reports that the US could Turkish cleric Gulen in an attempt to assuage President Erdogan to adopt a less aggressive stance against Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing. Usd/Try now near the middle of a 5.3240-3940 band.
In commodities, gold (+0.2%) is trading relatively flat after hitting new weekly highs of USD 1218.39/oz earlier in the session; following uneventful overnight trade. Elsewhere, Shanghai Zinc prices have risen due to London Metal Exchange stockpiles falling to decade-low levels. Brent (+1.3%) and WTI (+1.1%) are both in the green and continuing their rebound seen yesterday with WTI hovering around USD 57.00bbl. Energy newsflow remains light, post-yesterday's DoE report, however, Iraq’s North Oil Co. have announced that they have resumed Kiruk oil exports heading towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Looking ahead, the main highlight on the calendar will be the Baker Hughes rig count. Elsewhere, natural gas futures are relatively steady after their 19% decline yesterday which came in the wake of a 20% increase the day before. US Event Calendar
9:15am: Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.3%; Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%
11am: Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 11, prior 8
4pm: Total Net TIC Flows, prior $108.2b, Net Long-term TIC Flows, prior $131.8b
Sheikh Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman — Chairman, Shariah Board Sheikh Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman who is a Managing Director of Elzar Group of companies (Elzar Shariah Solutions Sdn Bhd, Elzar Resources Sdn Bhd, Elzar Trading Sdn Bhd and K-Fiqh Sdn Bhd). Dr. Zaharuddin served as an Assistant Professor at the Kulliyyah of Economics, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) for more than 10 years. He obtained his degree from University of Malaya, MA in Shariah from Al-Yarmouk University, Jordan and PHD in Islamic Studies and Finance from University of Wales. He is also a certified Islamic Finance trainer and lecturer by The Markfield Institute of Higher Education, United Kingdom. He has served RHB Islamic Bank Ltd, Malaysia as a Senior Shari’ah Manager & Product Development and later, joining Asian Finance Bank Ltd as Head of the Shari’ah Compliance. He has a vast experience in Shariah where he has served various institutions as Shariah Consultant and Advisor for Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM), OSK Investment Bank, Deutche Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank Malaysia, Standard Chartered Saadiq Bank, ACR ReTakaful Bahrain, BIMB Securities Sdn Bhd, BNP Paribas Bank and others. To-date, he has written over 20 books and hundreds of articles on Islamic Jurisprudence and Islamic Banking and other Shari’ah matters in journal, including local and international magazines and conferences. He frequently appears in the local television and radio lecturing on various Shari’ah issues especially with regards to the Islamic commercial transaction. His Facebook page ‘Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman’ has about 1.3 million followers. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-zaharuddin-abd-rahman-05a0195/ Mr Vince Focarelli — Ambassador There was a time, whenever Vince Focarelli’s name was mentioned, it struck fear and hatred in the people’s heart, especially amongst the residents of Adelaide. That is not the case anymore. The former leader of the notorious gang ‘Comanchero’, he is now a transformed and completely different person after embracing Islam. Watch the interview with Vince about his journey to Islam. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2jcCxBwm9s) Vince — now Imran Abdul Salam — is an active social activist, where he frequently gives motivational and inspirational talk about his journey to Islam. He is also actively involved in several humanitarian works such as organising a food convoy for the Yemeni refugees. He used to own and run a Halal Italian restaurant, La Fig Cucina in Adelaide, of which he wishes to expand its presence around the world. Vince has been appointed as the Ambassador to Bayan Token as he shares the same aspirations and noble intentions of spreading good to the wider mass. An avid preacher of kindness and goodness himself, he is very excited and looking forward to do greater good through the Shariah compliant Bayan Token. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vince-Focarelli-1892643934346711/ Dato’ Zainal Abidin M Husain — Chairman Dato’ Zainal Abidin was a name to be reckoned with in the banking and financial industry. He served as a Manager for eight years at Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Berhad before becoming the Head of Finance at Halim Securities Sdn Bhd. He then made his leap of faith by founding Ikhtiar Destinasi Sdn Bhd. He has held many significant positions since then which include the Managing Director for Ikhtiar Factoring Sdn Bhd and Director for both Transpro Sdn Bhd and Ikhtiar Commerce Sdn Bhd. At 56, he is still active and going strong, overseeing Ikhtiar Destinasi Sdn Bhd as its Executive Chairman. He graduated from University of Minnesota in Accounting and Idaho State University in Masters in Education (Business). LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dato-zainalabidin-husain-267927aa/ Nazimuddin Nazaruddin — Chief Executive Officer Nazimuddin graduated from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), completing his Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) professional course. He is a member of ACCA and Malaysia Institute of Accountants (MIA), and is currently a Chartered Accountant by background. He kickstarts his career in a medium sized Audit Firm, Afrizan Tarmili Khairul Azhar (AFTAAS), and continue his auditing career to one of the Big Four firm, Deloitte Malaysia based in Petaling Jaya, leading and managing various client’s portfolio, from small to big entities. Then he moved to Schlumberger KL Financial Hub as a Management Accountant, dealing with Financial Reporting and operational matters, taking care of Middle East area operations via working closely with Operation Controllers, specifically in Artificial Lift and Completions segment for Kuwait, UAE, and North Sudan. Currently he is practicing in his own firm Nazim & Co, an accounting firm under MIA, specializing in small medium entities portfolio’s. He has vast experience and well verse in International and local financial reporting standards, international standards of auditing, financial reporting compliance, statutory and taxation matters, performance management and internal audit compliance. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nazimuddin-nazaruddin-acca-ca-m-3391b1aa/ Ameerul Zafeeq Hizamuddin — Chief Financial Officer Ameerul Zafeeq is a chartered accountant graduated in 2010 from Kaplan Financial College, London. He started his career at Binder Dijker Otte (BDO) as an audit associate. He then moved to Accenture as Accountant before joining Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as Fund Accountant to have a first-hand experience in investment field. Ameerul was hired by Petronas Carigali as a Senior Executive in 2016. He was promoted to Assistant Manager and moved to Petronas Berhad. He specialises in business planning, forecasting, budgeting and reporting. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ameerul-zafeeq-hizamuddin-883224a3/ Adam Effendy Mustapha — Chief Operating Officer Adam Effendy graduated from London School of Economics and Political Science in Bsc. Economics. Immediately after graduation, he was offered an executive position in UEM Group Berhad, serving both the Corporate Finance Department and the Managing Director’s office. He then moved to UEM Sunrise Berhad, gaining more experiences in the corporate world after serving total of three years in the Managing Director’s office and the Corporate Planning department. Adam then decided to resign and started his own publishing house that has published ten books to-date; two of them were national bestsellers. After two and half years being an entrepreneur, Adam craves for new challenges and wants to learn something novel and exciting. He quickly jumped at the offer to join the team as he gets to enjoy the best of two worlds; Islamic finance and financial technology. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-e-mustapha-661011b1/ Muhamad Akif Akmal Abdul Aziz — Chief Technology Officer A First-Class Honour graduate in B.Eng Electrical & Electronic from University of Adelaide, Muhamad Akif Akmal was an Electrical Engineer at Tarpon Energy Services Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd since 2014 before joining the team. He specialises in designing electrical system and instrument. Akif is a crypto and blockchain enthusiast who has traded using various platforms such as Poloniex, Shapeshift, Remitano and LocalBitcoins. He also has experiences in building GPU mining rig and designing mining farm. He was also a back-end technology consultant for several ICOs. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/muhamad-akif-akmal-abdul-aziz-19b22a73/ Zikri Zainudin — Chief Technical Analyst A Financial Engineering graduate with 7 years of investment banking experience, Zikri Zainudin is a self-taught computer programmer. He applied complex algorithms and artiﬁcial intelligence to enhance the Z2 System into an integrated, advanced methodological application, designed for efﬁcient stock picking, complex alerts and automated execution to support professional trading. It took more than 10 years to derive the methodology, which is now known as the Z2 Protocol. Mr Steven Georgiadis — Legal Consultant Steven Georgiadis is a highly acclaimed and seasoned Trial Attorney with 18 years of accomplished experience. With a combination of a scholastic and reformist approach, he has netted triumphant proficiency in investment banking, private banking, Mergers & Acquisition, private equity transactions, corporate finance and corporate governance. Commonly sought internationally by prestigious cliental, he has become a highly respected advisor and esteemed leader. Steven, a graduate from Bond University, Gold Coast, Australian with Bachelor of Laws (LLB), has been solicited for his astute abilities in a vast array of legal disciplines including dispute resolution and in litigation for both hard and soft commodity sectors. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steven-georgiadis-06692768/ Mr Pierre Chuah — Marketing Expert Pierre Chuah is a Digital Marketing Cloud Specialist with 20 years of experience. With a holistic digital experiences, he is able to understand and implement various digital marketing technologies for businesses. Pierre started his career in KPMG Asia Pacific as an IT consultant in the implementation of SAP Finance solutions, for various companies in Malaysia and Singapore. Subsequently he led a team of 23 individuals in providing digital marketing consultancy to various multi-national companies such as Japanese Tobacco Industry (JTI), Carlsberg, Nissan, Cadbury, Kimberly Clarke, Mattel Toys, Adidas, Panasonic and many others in implementing digital marketing technologies. Pierre joins Oranje-ISC as a Digital Director in the year 2014 having developed and implemented a 360-digital experience for Langkawi Island. Under his direction, Oranje-ISC was made finalist in ‘Marketing Excellence Awards 2017’. He is professionally certified by SAP, Google, Oracle and Adobe. He graduated from Warwick University, United Kingdom BSc Management Science and City University, London with MSc Information System and Technology. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pierre-chuah-18222861/ Dr. Said Adekunle Mikail — Shariah Expert Dr. Said Adekunle Mikail is a researcher at International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and lecturer at International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). His academic qualifications are distinguished; he graduated from Islamic University of Madinah with LLB (Shariah) and earned his Master’s Degree in Comparative Law from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). He then obtained his PhD in Islamic Finance from the same university. Dr. Said’s experience in Islamic Finance is extensive. He was the Shariah advisor for BNP Paribas (Islamic Banking Window, Malaysia) in 2015. He was appointed as the Shariah Consultant to I Consult Africa (PTY) Ltd. Ethical and Responsible Advisory, South Africa in 2016 and still serving them until now. He is also a Shariah Consultant under ISRA Consultancy Sdn Bhd, which has served a number of high-profile clients including the Central Bank of Malaysia. Dr. Said holds a number of memberships in various esteemed bodies and organisations such as Al-Birr Investment and Credit Cooperative Society Limited (Chairman), Muslim Scholarship Fund of Nigeria (MSFN-Nigeria) (Partner), International Council of Islamic Finance Educators, Malaysia (Associate Member), Malaysia Institute of Management (Affiliate Member) and Malaysian Financial Planning Council. Being conferred the 21st Yayasan Tun Razak Youth Leadership Award in 2016 and Shariah Scholarship Award by ISRA in 2011, Dr Said has produced many academic publications and reports, which are internationally recognised. Dr Hameeth Shah Abdul Wahid — Biotech Project Expert Dr Hameeth Shah Abdul Wahid completed his MBBS from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) in 2004. He started his career as a young doctor in Hospital Besar Alor Setar. Since the early days, he has special interest in Internal Medicine that lead him to take up postgrad studies in the subject matter. Eventually he completed his postgrad studies and obtained membership of Members of Royal College of Physician (MRCP), United Kingdom in 2014. Currently Dr Hameeth Shah is working as a Senior Lecturer at University Kuala Lumpur-Royal College of Medicine Perak (UNIKL-RCMP) and practicing as a Specialist in Internal Medicine at Pusat Pakar Perubatan Ar-Ridzuan in Ipoh, Perak. He also has special interest in cardiology and currently doing his fellowship in Interventional Cardiology. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hameeth-shah-67167445/ Siti Sarah Nadiah Suliman — Legal & Human Capital Director Siti Sarah Nadiah is a qualified lawyer, whose vast experience in legal practice ranges from human rights, civil litigation, commercial and banking law. Siti Sarah Nadiah graduated from UiTM with Honours Degree of Law and currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Islamic Finance Practice. She is also a Senior Associate Member of Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals (CIIF). LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/siti-sarah-nadiah-suliman-a16007159/ Noorashikin Zainal — Account & Finance Director Noorashikin Zainal has a total of more than 17 years of experience in accounting. She has handled accounts of companies of various businesses and industries, which include healthcare, electrical and electronics, real estate and event management. A graduate from UNITEN in accounting, Noorashikin’s last position was Account Manager at K-Fiqh Sdn Bhd. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noorashikin-zainal-b83686133/ Zainab Abdul Razak — Mart Operation Director Zainab joined Zalora, Asia’s leading online fashion platform as Operation Executive in 2012 before moving to Lazada, Malaysia’s largest e-commerce store as Senior Operation Associate in 2014, focusing on the warehouse operation. Zainab is now entrusted with managing the whole operation of Elzar Mart, a retail halal supermarket that offers everyday items at a very competitive price. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dea-zainab-a193756b/ Dr. Siti Hajar Pahmi — Biotechnology Consultant Dr Hajar completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology with First Class Honours in 2010 from the University of Queensland, Australia. The university, together with the Australian Government then funded her Ph.D in Medicinal Chemistry under the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and the University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship, where she gained her doctorship in 2015. Whilst formal education is important to her, Dr Hajar also led and was heavily involved in multiple projects and events both in Australia and Malaysia. Throughout her student years, Dr Hajar’s leadership and management skills shone when she held several important positions in the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MASCA) from 2007 to 2014. She maintains a balanced life by being active in sports, and have competed competitively and socially in netball, futsal, basketball, ultimate frisbee, and touch rugby. She is a strong advocate for healthy living as she believes in “healthy heart, healthy life”. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hajar-pahmi-19ba3860/ Mohamad Shafiq Ezhan Khairulazli — Creative & Marketing Director Mohamad Shafiq Ezhan has more than 10 years of experience in creative art and design. He is the founding partner and Creative Director of Talenta Holdings Sdn Bhd, whose clients include Petronas, Telekom Malaysia Berhad and Little Trees (a company based in the United States). A graduate from UniKL MFI in mechatronics, Shafiq Ezhan’s experience also includes marketing and image and branding strategy. Siddiq Mohd Amin — Shariah Secretary Siddiq Mohd Amin graduated from University of al-Azhar, Cairo with a Bachelor in Shariah in 2016. An excellent student with Best Student Award in his third year, he immediately started his career with Elzar Shariah Solutions and Advisory upon his graduation as a Shariah Associate. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/siddiq-mohd-amin-516b76162/ Professor Dato’ Dr Norbik Bashah Idris — Advisor Dato Dr Norbik Bashah Idris is currently a Professor at Kulliyah of ICT in IIUM. He started his academic career in 1983 with UTM and has been attributed as one of the early pioneers of Cybersecurity in Malaysia. Throughout his career, he has been a member of SIGSAC –(Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control) of the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery), IEEE Computer Society, New York Academy of Science, USA and IFIP Working Group-11.3 on Database Security (USA). As a cybersecurity professional, Prof Norbik carries CISSP & CISM certifications from ISC2 & ISACA. In 1995 he led a team which won a strategic research grant from MOSTI to start the first major research work on Cryptography in Malaysia which produced a suite of indigenious cryptographic utilities. In 1998 Prof Norbik founded the first Real-time Software Engineering Centre of Excellence in Malaysia, where he collaborated with the University of Thales from Paris. The cybersecurity R&D team he led later became incorporated as a company which won a significant project from the Malaysian Government to help monitor security of government’s network throughout the country. The company later became the first public-listed company on Cybersecurity in Malaysia. Following his success in Malaysia, Prof Norbik repeated the success into other ASEAN countries and later into the Gulf countries (UAE & Saudi Arabia). Throughout his career Prof Norbik has been a Keynote Speaker, Visiting Professor, Corporate Figure, Consultant & Advisor on Cybersecurity to various Organizations & Governments, both in Malaysia & international. He was nominee for 2007 Ernst & Young Best IT Entrepreneur, twice Distinguished ISC2 Award winner for Asia-Pacific, IDG Distinguished Chief Security Officer for Asia Pacific, winner of at least 7 Gold medals in various exhibitions and competitions on Cybersecurity products & services, and holder of a few patents. Prof Norbik’s latest interest is in synergizing cybersecurity & DLT (Blockchain/Tangle) into Islamic Fintech products & services in the hope of contributing to the Maqasid Shariah. LinkedIn: https://my.linkedin.com/in/norbik-idris-92102036 Mr Hj Khairil Anuar Mohd Noor — Advisor Khairil Anuar has been an international banker for over 27 years, where the past 18 years has been in Islamic Finance. Over the course of his career as a banker, he has had a significant exposure and experience across a multitude of area including wholesale banking, syndications, trade finance, debt and capital market, asset management, retail banking, cash management, banking operation, system implementation and product management to name a few. Khairil had helmed HSBC Malaysia’s and Bank Simpanan Nasional’s Islamic Banking Division. He then moved to Dubai serving Emirates Islamic Bank as its Head of Marketing. His last posting was the Head of Structuring, Product Management and Business Intelligence for Wholesale Banking Group at Al Hilal Bank, Abu Dhabi, where he served for almost 10 years. From 2006 until recently, Khairil has been instrumental in developing the Islamic Finance capabilities of Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia, Mashreq Bank, Dubai and Al Hilal Bank, Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan within wholesale, retail and operation setting. He graduated with MBA from Saint Louis University in Missouri, USA in 1987, where he also spent 2 years working for a premier stock broking firm there. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khairil-anuar-mohd-noor-77040313/ Mr Zuheer Mohammed Majid — Advisor Zuheer Mohammed Majid is an experienced banker whose career spans over almost 30 years. Now a Senior Vice President in Citibank Malaysia Berhad, his journey in banking began when he joined United Malayan Banking Berhad (now RHB Bank Berhad) in 1986. He then became Assistant Vice President at ABN AMRO Bank Berhad before serving Hong Leong Bank Berhad as Manager for Trade Finance and Correspondent Banking. Zuheer’s expertise across many areas in the industry had landed him the Senior Vice President post in Citigroup Transaction Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, where in year 2000, he joined them to oversee the trade services/finance operations and advisory services. He graduated from Irvine University, California with an MBA. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zuheer-mohammed-majid-7a32301b/ Mr Hj Zainuddin Md Yusof — Advisor A market trader with a background in statistics, Hj Zainuddin started trading the global markets in the 1980’s. Aside from having more than 30 years exposure to the global markets, specializing in the US equity market; he has spent thousands of hours testing and enhancing technical trading tools to develop a state-of-the-art proprietary trading system — the Z2 System — which combines technical and fundamental analysis to identify optimum trading opportunities using cutting-edge technology. Mr Hj Zulhisham Ayob — Advisor Haji Zulhisham is a top-notch seasoned player in the media and marketing communications industries. He has over three decades of working experience in Broadcasting and Marketing Communications prior to founding Oranje-ISC. Among others, he had served as the Chief Operating Officer in Radio Airtime Services, Executive Vice President Marketing for IT Vista and Executive Director of Pakarmedia Sdn Berhad. Apart from media industry, Haji Zulhisham is an entrepreneur who founded the Home of TAHFIZ Darul Siddir — A specialist Islamic religious institutions serving and nourishing Islamic spiritual needs promoting mainstream learning of Islam based on the Quran and Sunnah, preparing for the future generations. Home of TAHFIZ Darul Siddir is committed to the dissemination of Islamic knowledge through the traditional time honoured methods for the Glory of Allah (Glorious and Almighty He is) and in honour of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing upon him). Another outfit founded by Haji Zulhisham is Twentytwo Multi-Labels Concept Store skewed towards offering Muslimah fashions. With more than 100 brands housed under one roof physically and digitally, Twentytwo provides trading, branding and marketing solutions to its business partners and variety of affordable designer brands suitable not only for Moslems, but those who desires to look fashionable and elegant yet dignified. Mr Khairu Rejal — Advisor Khairu Rejal has more than 10 years of experience in the venture capital and start-up incubation space, initially at the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center (NTC) and later at Majuven, a Singapore-based venture capital firm focused on early growth and high-tech companies in Bio-Technology, Healthcare, Clean-Sustainable Solutions and Dynamic Digital Convergences. In 2017, Khairu along with other like-minded angel investors came together to launch Rekanext Capital Partners. Currently, in Rekanext, Khairu as a Managing Partner is always looking out for start-ups across Indonesia, Malaysia as well as Philippines and Vietnam with a focus on enterprise software and deep tech verticals. He also sits on several committees of other non-profit organisations and has led initiatives in the social impact sector. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khairurejal/ Mr Hj Che Salmi Che Ibrahim — Advisor Che Salmi Che Ibrahim has been in the retail industry for the past 26 years. Starting with Sabasun Sdn Bhd, before it changed to its current household name; Sabasun Hyperruncit Sdn Bhd. A local entrepreneur with a global vision, at the moment he proudly owns three Sabasun hypermarkets and a warehouse, aiming to become more efficient in distributing its items. Sabasun Hyperruncit Sdn Bhd will launch the Terengganu Halal Business Centre in January 2019, which will house the first ever Sabasun Mall, Parkson, a hotel, office units, F&B outlets with a bowling alley. Under Che Salmi’s leadership and dedication, Sabasun has won the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism’s ‘Consumer’s Choice Award’ in 2009. Che Salmi, a graduate in Psycholinguistics, is known not only for his skilful entrepreneurship, but also active in humanitarian and charity works. His Sabasun hypermarkets are famous among locals as it is able to cater the needs of the low-income earners. He is also known for organising fund-raising for people who are less fortunate in other countries like Palestine and Syria. Madam Roseta Mohd Jaafar — Advisor Roseta Mohd Jaafar started off her career in Corporate Communications with Mekar Idaman Sdn Bhd as a Senior Executive in 1997. Little did she know that she would flourish in that area and climb the corporate ladder at a rather fast pace. After Mekar Idaman, she moved to Intria Berhad as Assistant Manager before becoming Head of Corporate Communications at Opus International Consultants Limited just one year after that. Roseta then advanced her career with UEM Group Berhad, as a Manager in the Corporate Communications department. After almost 2 years there, she then took a leap of faith to become the Vice President, Head of Group Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for EON Group Berhad in 2007. Her most lustrous career to-date was her 7-year and a half stint with Al-Rajhi Bank (Malaysia), as their Vice President, Head of Corporate Communications. Now the Corporate Affairs Director at GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd, which owns over 120 Giant hypermarkets, 400 Guardian pharmacies and more than 16 Cold Storage supermarkets, Rosetta has in total more than 20 years’ worth of experience in Corporate Communications. She graduated from University of Leeds with BA (Honours) in TESOL and earned her Masters of Science degree in Corporate Communications from Universiti Putra Malaysia. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roseta-mohd-jaafar-5a75763/
/u/BrowsesATon's Ultimate beginners guide to sellers (plus a short update on when I can update the guide)
This is a crosspost given with the OP's permission since he contacted me before and I only read it because I am currently on a holiday and access to reddit is limited for me.
With that said, I will try to update the guide in 1-2 weeks time. Now everything after this text is not mine but the OP which is stated in the title of the post. If you need any questions with the guide, contact the OP. (BrowsesATon) Regularly updating FAQ Wassup, lots of posts recently of people tryna get in the rep sneaker game. So I decided to help you guys out. Firstoff, the basics. What is a seller? A seller is a person/website/team that gets replica sneakers straight from the factory. There are some cases where the factory is also the seller. What are these factories? PK, H12, C4, SS - Some of the well known factories. These factories make replica sneakers, although it is generally agreed that the best way to buy these reps are thru sellers. Who are these sellers? A couple of them I can name. Right now, i can name a few trusted sellers on the top of my head. Niceyes, soleshop, namekiki are a few i can name. The Process Here is where people are confused, and I don't blame you, sending money to Putian China is scary, and none of us are well accustomed of doing these kind of business. So here is the process
You contact the seller you want to buy from, usually through skype, wechat or whatsapp. I will include a list of contact numbers below.
You then state what pair you want to the seller, the seller will usually check stock, and if there is, he/she will inform you.
You Pay. This is the scary part, you're going to entrust a large amount of money to someone in China. fear not, its normal. Go with the trusted sellers, and just pay. Yes there is risk, but that's a risk we all take to get that 1:1 grails. Some sellers accept WU, Moneygram, CC, or PayPal. Again, a list will be posted below.
Once the seller confirms the money has been received, in a span of 1-3 days, the seller will send you "Quality Check" pictures. These pictures are for you to approve or reject the pair. PSA, DO NOT NITPICK, there is no perfect pair, only reject if there are blatant or obvious flaws.
Once you approve, the seller will proceed to ship the pair to you. Sellers usually ship through DHL or EMS. A couple of others too, but i can't list them all. Just ask. Prior to this step, you can ask for specifications to the seller, e.g. what amount to declare @ customs etc etc.
You'll receive a tracking number, track the shipping process online to see where your shoe is.
Wait and pray. If everything goes smoothly, your pair will be at your doorstep and that 1:1 shoe is all yours baby. Congratulations.
BUT WAIT I have more questions!! Here is the FAQ. Q. What is GL and RL? A. GL is greenlight, to approve the pair, RL is redlight, to reject it. Used in step 4. Q. Why can't i nitpick? I'm not comfortable with this flaw A. Son, first of all, you are buying replicas, not retails. There will be flaws, some horrible, some not so obvious. If you want to RL, it is ultimately your choice still, then by all means RL. However, the next pair you get still has a chance for it's stripe to be .07cm off. Your choice my man. What i just wanna say is that, you aren't gonna be called out. I promise u Q. It's taking so long for the QC pics/Shipping/RL A. Wait it out. Again, you are buying reps. Reps go through many channels to get delivered to you. Sometimes QC pics take a while due to stock availability or if the seller is waiting on the shoe to be delivered to their warehouse from the main suppliefactory. Sometimes shipments get delayed either domestically or internationally due to certain events. Domesitcally there is a chance of raids/seizures, in which sellers have to hold still to avoid getting affected. Sellers also quite often use DHL's Hong Kong hub to ship packages, so if you're using DHL usually your shoes goes to Hong Kong first before getting to you. Most sellers also use a shipping agent, so before your shoes move to the courier (DHL, EMS, ePacket, etc) they go to a shipping agent first. Q. What if my shipment gets seized!?!? A. Some sellers guarantee to reship, some don't. This is out of their goodwill. Technically, the risk of seizure is ours to take, so be thankful if they agree to ship another pair. (Amy/Niceyes reships) Q What is the best version of yeezy's to buy? A Generally, PK is a good baseline. Davids, H12 and SS are all good too. Q How much are these shoes? I only have >$100 budget A Top tier reps are usually $120-$160. If you can't buy em, you can try boostmaster Lin through superbuy, who usually sells med-low tier reps. That's another subject though. Q Where can i get the best v2's??? A PK. KO, SS and Davids are also pretty good. But yeah, its hard to go wrong with PK. Q Credit Card not working on X's site?? A Call your bank, CC company, they probably blocked the order. If not, consider alternatives, such as privacy.com or other burner cards. Q Best colorway of Yeezy's to buy if i dont wanna get called out? A Breds and creams are generally the easiest shoes to rep, since there are not much patterns and complex designs. Some even buy budget tier creams that go for 30-80 USD, and still are hard to callout. Q What size should I get? A Generally, it is god to get .5 size up in PK batches. However, PK is inconsistent in sizing, so i suggest you measure your foot, and have your seller measure the insole. Other batches, im not sure, maybe someone can help me out. Q I have read something about free fake receipts/boost insoles, how do i get them? A Ask your seller, sometimes insoles are free, sometimes they aint. Fake receipts are generally frowned upon here, but if you want to go for that extra flex, then just ask your seller, they usually have it for Yeezys. Q How much should my shoes be declared? A Depends, in the Philippines, its generally accepted to declare shoes less then $100 so customs wont have fun with it. Im not sure with other countries, consult your seller and whatever your seller advises should be good. Generally by default most sellers declare at $10-20 USD. If your country's customs is known to ask for proof of invoice/purchase, it is generally advisable to declare the value of the shoes at $30-40 USD as to have a more "believable" price, which may also actually prevent customs from asking for further documentation. edit: MORE FAQS Q Help, im size 13++, cant find reps my size!! A Reps are generally not made in large sizes due to a smaller market, however some pairs are still made, generally, try to ask your seller if they can get you a pair. Michael, and Lin are a few who, according to what ive heard, supply these sizes Q Isn't my money at the mercy of the sellers the minute i send it to them? A That's true, technically, they can just run away with your cash and there's nothing you can do about it. However, these sellers who are trusted are honestly just running a business, and running with your cash would be feasible, yes, but that would entail less customers from the reddit market, which they wouldn't want. I've read some stories however, that the reddit market is just a fraction of their customer clientele, take that as you will Q Is it safe to use credit cards on these sites? A Generally, it's safe to use cards on the sites of trusted sellers. However, i must advise you that in the end, you're sending money to Chinese people in Putian, China. There will always be risks, and you have to be sure whether or not to take it. If you must use your card, use privacy.com or other substitutes for those not in the US. Virtual Cards also are recommended. List of sellers and contact information, copy pasted from repguides wiki http://imgur.com/a/ED7Ez took out some defunct sellers, and most taobao agents.
more resources: general info: /repguides <-- check their wiki for the complete list of sellers and their contact information. Peace out. P.S. sorry if the contact info of the sellers are images, they get filtered out if i put them in the post itself. If you want clickable links, please go check the resources posted above. shout out to ivsguy for helping me out on this FAQ a ton! real helpful guy
Good Idea for Bitcoin Foundation to have RATING SYSTEM on Exchanges, etc.?
Hi, guys, would it be possible for the foundation or the active Bitcoiners to have a set of parameters that can determine a good, sound, legitimate exchange to avoid another Mt.Gox blunder? This would not constitute as "Regulation" per se but just a good endorsement seal like a HONCode seal image or URAC for medical websites. Like say, BTC-e's founders are anonymous - they deal with fiat<->BTC exchange so I think anonymity should not apply to them. I say this because a friend of mine kept endorsing this buybitcoin.ph exchange based in the Philippines and then I asked him of their fees. They charge 4.9% per tx, and that's not all. Their buy rate is one of the highest in the bitcoin ecosystem, around 30US$ above Bitstamp. It's dangerous since in countries like these, there is widespread monopoly of services and goods, and that is exactly what they are doing. Criteria like: Disclosure of who or what entity is behind the company Security, aes-256 DDoS protection, etc. Affordable transaction fees No malleability issues Then the image would be like "Rated A by Bitcoin Foundation" or endorsed by Bitcoin Foundation or something. What do you guys think? Good / bad idea?
First and foremost the most important things for a platform are stability, speed, and security. To do those well you need the ability to push updates and fixes as close to real-time as possible. And it needs to work in every language. User authentication, data and caching abstraction.
A lot of what people think of as platform stuff is actually at the CMS layer -- custom post types, taxonomy meta,
If backwards compatibility wasn't a concern I would rename all the inconsistent column names and variables to match our style guide, drop TinyMCE, simplify the user roles and capabilities system, replace widgets with page blocks, redo the admin menu system, denormalize the DB, flatten dependencies and deep hierarchy in function execution, and completely reorganize the code so the bare minimum of files are included with any given request.
They say or imply lots of things about WordPress that aren't true. They've also done things like had a quote from me looking like I was endorsing Ghost on their Kickstarter page even after I asked them to remove it several times. (Lots of people were confused or thought it was a plugin for WP.)
Some cool stuff in there! I also keep an eye on Joomla and Concrete5. I find it really fascinating to watch other open source projects especially because we share much of the same background and philosophy, but make radically different decisions around things like backward compatibility and release schedule.
It's like watching birds that evolved from the same ancestor but on isolated islands and environments. I'm sure we do things that look completely crazy to Drupal folks, and vice versa.
Along those lines I was asked to keynote at the Joomla World Conference in November and it looks like I'm going to be able to make it.
Hello Dolly is actually the 13th most active plugin, with an active userbase of about 16% of Akismet (the most-activated plugin), and about a third as popular as Jetpack. It's ahead of W3 Total Cache! Again this is not just installations, it's currently active.
I'm as involved in WordPress development as I was 10 years ago, it just manifests itself in ways that tend to be a lot more behind the scenes and less visible, which I don't mind as I'm way more interested in things moving forward and the results than credit or recognition for any specific thing. (I get plenty of recognition regardless, don't need more.) The only downside is that folks who I don't work with on a day-to-day basis assume that my role at Automattic or WP is more as a traveling figurehead or "evangelist" which can rub me the wrong way sometimes.
The most important thing I've done since WP started, though, isn't in a line of code or a feature people use, it's getting the right people involved and creating an environment for them to thrive. It's the single most important thing any founder can do, whether of an OS project, a non-profit, or a for-profit company even though there's not a single thing you can point to as the result of it other than the overall success and movement of the project.
Oh by far and away the strangest location was Davao in the Philippines. I can't find any pictures at the moment, but my talk was essentially at a restaurant with a swimming pool courtyard -- the audience was on the other side of the pool from me, and the food buffet was behind me so when the Q&A got slow people would grab food. The PA system had an echo because I think it was normally used for karaoke. And then the bats came out!
Best after-party is hard to pick, but I had a great time after WordCamp Las Vegas which aligned with my 25th birthday a few years ago.
There's always a struggle between doing new things or experiments under a new brand -- like VaultPress -- vs putting it under an existing brand. A lot of the things I've been thinking about we're going to put under the Jetpack brand, for example Jetpack Photon (CDN + dynamic image resizing and filtering) could be a standalone product, but decided to bundle it. So keep an eye on some big things coming to Jetpack, especially for Code Poets, people who use WordPress professionally.
That's a tough one... I'm going to say the volunteers on the support forums. There are 2M+ posts there, and it's easy to forget that a huge number of WP users end up in the forums and get help that allows them to use the software when they wouldn't otherwise be able to.
Those are all good, if I had to pick one it'd be getting the documentation going better on WordPress.org -- handbooks, function reference, training materials / syllabuses, and doing it all in every language and for every plugin/theme.
The hardest thing for me was taking responsibility for the lives and families of others, those first few hires especially. It's why I originally raised funding even though we had revenue already, and why since then we've always focused on making the business sustainable over decades, not just the next tech hype cycle.
By far and away it's the high attrition rate of new users. We look at posting a lot in that context but I think it's far more important to look at customization -- theme discovery and tweaking, widgets, menus.
The first few users were friends of mine who weren't into technology at all, so from the start we needed to make it work for regular people. As we grow it's mostly just a matter of reminding ourselves of that, sitting down with them to see how they use the software, and anticipating their needs.
Some of the largest and most important publishers in the world rely on WordPress. (Show them the showcase.) If WordPress was insecure we'd see it on the front page of nytimes.com, wired.com, and cnn.com. :)
I have. It's also funny because I think Gartner is about to come out with a "magic quadrant" that puts us in the crappy quadrant (low vision and ability to execute). Their leaders? Adobe, Sitecore, SDL, Oracle, HP, Opentext...
I completely agree with Chris on all the ways that enterprise currently works, and their concerns. (People assume because we choose to do things differently that we don't understand the other side.) But I'm not willing to compromise getting better software into the hands of users as quickly as possible, if that means Gartner thinks we're a visionless niche player so be it.
We've done long-term support branches before, it was a big development burden and almost no one used it or cared. There will be businesses that embrace keeping their technology moving at the speed the web does, and there will be those that go out of business and become irrelevant.
Not true, still typing Dvorak, though last year I was beat on speed for the first time by Helen Hou-Sandi, who types QWERTY. She's speedy, and if she switched to Dvorak she could probably win world champs. :)
I'm glad that new ones are being started as fast as old ones are shutting down. There is some really interesting stuff going on in the community and I think there's space for real journalism and strong commentary.
I disagree with the premise -- WordPress does use modern coding practices. People assume that supporting say an older version of PHP or MySQL holds us back far, far more than it actually causes any trouble. Supporting older browsers is a way bigger deal.
Our biggest challenge is figuring out the user side of things, the front-end code. How things should work for a user rather than how they should work for a computer.
I spend more time on Skype (text chat with colleagues) than I would care to admit. Between that and P2s ( Link to p2theme.com ) I can easily fill eight hours in a day. As the company has grown to over 180 people there is a huge amount of content and activity to keep up with.
It's hard to say because I don't really consider what I do work, the hours just melt away.
I find I'm most productive first thing in the morning when I wake up, usually around 7am but a bit later if it's a cloudy morning, and I generally run out of steam around 11:30pm that night.
Some days I'm traveling though I might only have 4-5 hours at a computer and can get a similar amount done.
I find I'm generally more creatively charged the following day if I'm able to unplug at night, which is one reason I like jazz festivals (I try to go to Montreal every year) because I can work during the day and check out shows at night.
But seriously, I think it's all about removing friction (every second loading and extraneous click) and becoming part of people's habits, which is one of the reason I spent a fair amount of time on triggers and habits at the State of the Word this year.
Not on features, we'll make anything new there free to everybody, but might have a paid tier for top 1% of users by bandwidth/usage. But probably a few years from that, plenty of bandwidth and CPU here in the meantime, and it's just getting cheaper and faster.
I think it's a great framework for anything content-driven. For things like messaging that don't map well to WP's data model, you can still do it just make some new tables, don't try to shoehorn it in the standard ones.
I think the things that make open source incredibly collaborative and ultimately eat the world can also make design and big shifts difficult. WordPress has made some major shifts over its decade of life and grew as a result, but those pivots are harder to do the more successful we are because sometimes it means doing the opposite of what we did to become successful in the first place.
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