Online Privacy

Covering your tracks: It's tricky but doable

David Hoye has A Column on keeping your computer tracks a secret.
He says Pornography might be at the top of a few lists. But there are plenty of other reasons to cover your electronic tracks. Hiding online shopping for a surprise birthday gift, keeping a nosy roommate at bay or cleaning up an old computer before it's donated are just a few.

He provides a few ways to cover your tracks.

New Name of Pentagon Data Sweep Focuses on Terror

A Very Defiant Duckling Named Ender writes:
"Saying they are worried about Americans' privacy, Pentagon officials announced in a report today that they were changing the name of a projected system to mine databases for information to help catch terrorists to Terrorist Information Awareness from Total Information Awareness."
Ender gives us several views of the story, from the New York Times, the National Law Journal and the Gulf News
(Dateline Dubai). Also an interesting op/ed by Ted Rall.

U.S. promises safeguards on spy system

CNN Reports on an unusual coalition of liberal and conservative advocacy groups and some senators who want to keep tight congressional control on the Pentagon's planned anti-terror surveillance system despite new promises it will use only legally collected personal data.

Surveillance Nation—Part Two

Surveillance Nation-2 (Part 1) from Technology Review says though we are submitting ourselves to a proliferation of monitoring technologies, a loss of privacy is not inevitable.
They say it will be constrained by the structure of the huge databases necessary to store and manipulate surveillance data—and by the cultural and legal environment in which those databases arise. In fact, the way databases are configured may help foster accountability and usage policies that could regulate the deployment of surveillance.

Librarians and Privacy - All Things Considered Audio

NPR\'s Larry Abramson reports on librarians\' concerns that anti-terrorism laws will require them to violate their patrons\' privacy. Librarians are holding workshops to learn about their responsibilities and options.

Listen Here [Real File]
Thanks to Jen Young for this link.

Yes, You Are Being Watched

Sammy writes "Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service has written a rather long look at all the ways we are being watched from all sides, government, corps, and your boss. He finishes with a look at surveillance nightmares that will probably just be bad dreams for a long time. They include Heat-sensitive infrared cameras, Robotics technology, military satellites and face-recognition.
Does anyone care?
"

Privacy Advocates Warn Colleges Not to Monitor Content of Students' File Sharing

This Chronicle of Higher Education is on This Letter from epic.org that urges colleges not to monitor the content of peer-to-peer and other file-sharing transmissions. The group says such monitoring could violate student privacy

AOL loses court ruling on Net privacy

Jen Young pointed to This CNN Story on America Online in its efforts to protect the identity of one of its 35 million subscribers by asking the court to quash a subpoena calling for the member\'s name in an issue that goes to the heart of the anonymity of the Internet.
They say was the latest in the evolution of privacy laws as they pertain to the Internet and identities of Web surfers, privacy experts said.

E-mail Wiretapping

Rachel writes \"An article from MSNBC on e-mail spyware that can capture messages from web-based and POP3 services reads in part:


\"Fowler said the software would be useful for parents who want to watch their children’s e-mail activity in the early afternoon hours, when children are home from school but parents are still at work. Law enforcement agencies are also interested, he said — Web-based e-mail like Hotmail was used extensively by the hijackers who planned the Sept. 11 attacks, sometimes in public libraries.
“If our software had been installed in that library it would have recorded that Hotmail,” he said.\" \"

Anonymity @ Your Library on Slashdot

Slashdot is carrying an interesting discussion on building anonymity into software for libraries. Proposals include a reasonably secure web-surfing suite (it could run from CD and write everything to a virtual disk in memory) and letting patrons get anonymous library cards (or simply check out a book for cash and return it for cash, minus late fees and damages).

Naturally, US libraries that did this sort of thing might have to forgo federal funds at some point, but I imagine that some of them have already told the government to stick the e-rate where the sun don\'t shine in order to avoid filtering... -- Read More

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