Online Privacy

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

This Chronicle of Higher Education is on This Letter from 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...

Digital privacy: A curmudgeon\'s guide

David Holtzman has written A Nice Look at being a \"Data Curmudgeon\", one who feels it\'s important to stop personal information flowing into the \"Bytegeist\" of the burgeoning Internet.
He says there are five strategies that people seem to employ to tackle the personal data privacy problem.

Princeton Hacks Yale in \'\'unauthorized\'\' Student Poaching.

Princeton\'s open season on prospective Yale students was apparently
done using only the students \"Social Security numbers and birth dates.\"
The Boston Globe reports that according to Princeton\'s spokesperson, their
director of admissions acknowledged \"at least one \"unauthorized transmission\"
to the Yale Web site.\" He has been given a paid vacation while the offending
school conducts \"\"an aggressive investigation.\"\" In addition to admission
status, financial aid application information and personal and academic
preferences were accessible via the poorly secured logons.
:-( Privacy
accuses Princeton of Web prying:
data at issue; dean placed on leave.\"  -By Mary
Leonard -Boston/Globe

Campus Library Computers Seized

RobertR writes \"Middle Eastern men whispering at library computers was sufficient to call the police in Naples, Florida. Here\'s The Story \"

Don\'t panic, No suspicious or terrorism-linked information was discovered on the Edison Community College computer hard drives seized by Collier County sheriff\'s deputies earlier this week.

$5,000 - $20,000 a Month to Spy on Patron Web Use.

Rather than use
software to block legal websites (because of concerns of a lawsuit), a
Florida county commission is considering using software costing between
$5,000 - $20,000 a month to spy on patrons websurfing via their library
card to find out if patrons visit any \"known pornographic site.\"
won’t end porn access at library:
Commission considers monitoring
software.\" -By Pamela Smith Hayford

Survey: Opt-Out Is a Cop-Out

Here\'s A Sad Story from Wired that says Americans have plenty of complaints about a recently enacted law that requires customers to opt-out if they want to keep financial institutions from sharing their data.

Top items on the grievance list: opt-out notices hidden in thick junk mailings, confusing legal language and the potential for invasive sales tactics.
Your personal information is up for sale to the higest bidder.

Want privacy? Take action Has An Editorial by Dan Gillmore that says the businesses building the next generation of digital services are indifferent, if not hostile, to everything but their immediate bottom lines. I\'d say you can easily add some businesses providing services like databases, opacs and ejournals to this list. He also says legislative agendas frequently run counter to public wishes that conflict with business demands.Our rights, and money, are being legislated away.


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