Online Porn and Cyber Crime

Gilbert Wondracek, who (with coauthors) has investigated the economics of online porn, talks about his research in a podcast for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Wondracek’s research team went so far as to actually become adult website operators themselves. This perspective allowed them to offer the following insight: “We conclude that many participants of this industry have business models that are based on very questionable practices that could very well be abused for malicious activities and conducting cyber-crime. In fact, we found evidence that this kind of abuse is already happening in the wild.”[%comments]


Matt

"I swear honey, I'm only looking at porn websites to research for a paper I'm writing!"

Ray

So they started their own porn site for "research". Yeah.

Rabbit17

Shame to see Freakonomics giving voice to the sham artist that is Wondracek. The correct parts of his 'results' could have been gleaned from a 5 minute conversation with any one of the highly professional participants in the Adult Industry. The rest of it is a confused mangling of concepts, and dabbling in a tangential scavenger 'industry' only vaguely associated with the billion dollar industry he's supposed to be examining.

$160 for junk traffic from a broker tells you nothing. Google don't exclude Adult websites. I personally oversee a $20k+ a month account buying adult traffic. (Google for porn - the Sponsored Links are ads). They don't allow it on the bottom-feeder sites, as they're all scam artists.

The only reason there's so much malware on the free sites is that porn is the most obvious draw. It is totally unconnected to the actual content itself. It's like equating soccer hooliganism to soccer - it's a parasitic community with very little shared ideals.

Where's the control by the way? Compare this to health, fitness, and any other mainstream industry - the same tricks are used.

The real story in online porn is how piracy has killed it, but that's for another day!

Read more...

-LP

the paper is interesting but it looks old already. websites such as PornHub and YouPorn offer a huge quantity of good quality contents and cannot simply be labeled as "marketing sites" for other "core" adult websites. I guess that's what Rabbit17 it's referring to when it talks of "piracy" killing online porn...

Heavy D

What's online porn?

Somebody Somewhere

According to a recent UN report "public and legal locations such as massage parlours, spas and strip clubs [in the Netherlands] act as fronts for illegal prostitution and trafficking." That online porn is a nexus of criminality surprises me not at all. Such is the industry.

http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/tocta/2.Trafficking_in_persons.pdf

rstarr

I like Betty Page.

Jeff

Cocaine paid for Miami's infrastructure.
Gambling paid for Las Vegas

In a properly set-up system of capitalism, vices (and actually, any form of greed or selfishness) will have a side-effect of enhancing the public good. I have no doubt that some guy who was frustrated downloading bitmaps of naked women contributed to the the development of lossy compression for images... "What if we throw away everything except the skin tones that we want to see. oh.. let's only keep the interesting bits and toss out the boring bits and I don't care if it is a bit fuzzy". And then he got frustrated and said.. "it'd be so much better if the images could move" and then he came up with mpegs.

Porn and other vices have built much of the real world, and have played a significant role in technology of the Internet. To me, as long as the subjects are consenting adults, it is merely another industry that needs websites. If, as a society, we didn't force porn to the gray market and allowed it to be more mainstream (oooh for shame, for shame!) then the other negatives around it would be minimal.

Read more...

caveyy

There is porn out there?
Where???

nemo

Very bland uninteresting paper. No new insights.

Nttorney

A potential client in this industry came to our office describing the situation discussed above and by the poster Rabbit17. We investigated the situation and found that there is indeed a proliferation of such sites.

The type of activity discussed in this article doesn't seem to be representative of actual online porn companies that produce original content, but rather sites set up for the sole purposes of piracy, using the hook of "free porn" to entice users to hand over personal information. Because we did not specialize in this area, we sent the client to another office. It's probably true though, the proliferation of such piracy will probably destroy producers of online porn sooner or later.