Proxy Web Hosting, Proxy List and Articles

Web search groups to yield on privacy

Yahoo and Microsoft are preparing to announce concessions in their privacy policies in the next few weeks, as pressure mounts in Europe over the length of time internet search companies should be allowed to hold personal data.

The Article 29 Working Party, a group of national officials that advises the European Union on privacy policy, last month said it wanted to investigate how long companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft keep data on individuals who use their search engines.

Finally they are investigating other major search engine players and their policies as well. A level playing field and more privacy for the users is a good thing in general.

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Privacy Rules Don't Apply to Internet Messages, Court Says

In Friday's ruling, the court said computer users should know that they lose privacy protections with e-mail and Web site addresses when they are communicated to the company whose equipment carries the messages.
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The ruling "further erodes our privacy," the attorney said. "The great political marketplace of ideas is the Internet, and the government has unbridled access to it."

The court case is a bit bogus, the guy was manufacturing Ecstasy, which I'm sure didn't help. Ingoring that detail, it is quite scary what the courts just said was allowable. They can watch where you go on the internet. The whole idea of 'they can't see what you are looking at' is bs. Any user can look at a URL visited and type it in themself to see what is there. The compare it to looking at the outside of a package. I can't just get another identical package and open it though, with the internet that is the case. So much data is also passed through the URL bar (anything with ?function=value after it is passing data (look at your google search page. Notice the q=proxyhost.com. Is it REALLY not invading my privacy? Remember the AOL case where the leaked millions of searches and people could be identified and their privacy was violated?

A Transparent Life

Even if we don’t all end as stars of our own personal Truman Shows, it won’t be easy to opt out of the transparent digital community that is taking shape. Social pressure to conform is powerful, and setting limits is hard. Next time a vague acquaintance asks to be your friend on Facebook, can you really say no?

New forms of social etiquette are badly needed to govern the hyper-transparent world that is emerging. So are technologies to help people gain more control over their online existence. Before being encouraged to opt in wholeheartedly, people must believe that it is still both possible and acceptable to opt out.

More of a fluff article from Financial Times about living in this age where what we do is so transparent. Has a few key points but doesn't have much depth to it.

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AT&T rigs net neutrality study

new study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Nevada Reno says that net neutrality is a bad idea. Of course, that's what you'd expect it to say. It was paid for by AT&T.

For years, AT&T has called for a "tiered Internet," which would abandon net neutrality in favor of a system where high-bandwidth sites like YouTube are forced to pay higher fees to ISPs like, well, AT&T. Now, the telecoms giant has commissioned a study that supports its own argument. Conducted by researchers at AT&T Labs as well as Rensselaer and Nevada Reno, the study claims that an internet where all traffic is treated equally would require much more capacity than a tiered infrastructure.

Net neutrality could be a big issue for anyone running a website or accessing the internet. While the arguements are vague and probably oft-misrepresented, I would still favor net neutrality over a non-neutral network. Why? I see LESS HARM coming from a neutral network compared to a non-neutral one.

The thing that sort of irks me with net neutrality (In the sense that ATT wants to charge Google to access ATT's customers) is that when someone pays for Internet access, they generally expect to be able to connect to any other host on the net. Consider that Google is paying (a fortune, I imagine) for access, and all of a sudden if they don't pay a company that does not provide them internet access, their customers are lost to them. I fail to see how that isn't extortion.

IG: Pentagon not safeguarding privacy data

WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- Despite several high-profile compromises of private information, the U.S. Department of Defense is not protecting personal data adequately, a report says.

Officials assigned to protect personal data like Social Security numbers and other records at the Defense Department usually are not specifically trained in the requirements of the 1974 Privacy Act.

Big surprise. Wish I had more to say about this, but none of it surprises me, who would have expected incompetance in managing something?

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Google-DoubleClick Deal Draws Criticism

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Europe's major consumer group BEUC said Wednesday that it feared Internet search engine Google Inc.'s takeover of online ad tracker DoubleClick Inc. would damage European Union privacy rights and limit consumers' choice of Web content.

Their plea to EU regulators comes after U.S. consumer privacy advocacy groups asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to look at how the two companies, when combined, would have access to an unprecedented amount of data on consumers' Web usage and Internet search habits.

Last I checked there was plenty of tools to prevent cookies and such (using a proxy for instance?). To me this sounds like a case of missing information and a need for education of the users. You can reject certain cookies, you can delete them (or even modify them yourself). As far as users not knowing their information would ultimately go to Google with a Double CLick buyout? 90% of them already use google, if they were so worried about them I am not sure you would see such high usage.

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Forget about the WGA! 20+ Windows Vista Features and Services Harvest User Data for Microsoft

Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company.

Microsoft makes no secret about the fact that Windows Vista is gathering information. End users have little to say, and no real choice in the matter. The company does provide both a Windows Vista Privacy Statement and references within the End User License Agreement for the operating system. Combined, the resources paint the big picture over the extent of Microsoft's end user data harvest via Vista.
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Only God and Microsoft know the answer to that. And I have a feeling that God is going right now "Hey, don't get me involved in this! I have enough trouble as it is trying to find out the release date for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Seven!"

I didn't buy Vista, the WGA thing makes me sick. For all the crap Google has been getting lately, I think microsoft has a much worse track record for violating user's privacy. This article about Vista having so many programs monitoring you and reporting your activities doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Planning on upgrading soon? Just another 20 reasons not to go with Vista!

Paying for Online Privacy

Indeed, many consumers do not even check Web site privacy policies when they divulge their sensitive personally identifiable information. Yet, according to a recent report, when consumers are given a specific choice, many may actually pay more money during a transaction in return for privacy protection.

The report, prepared by Lorrie Cranor, who directs the Carnegie Mellon Usable Privacy and Security Labs, documents that consumers would pay an extra 60 cents for privacy protection on purchases of $15. Cranor came to this result by way of a hypothetical experiment.

In the experiment, participants were asked to buy a set of batteries and a sex toy. The sex toy was added into the mix to ascertain whether consumers might take extra steps to protect their personally identifiable information as part of this sensitive transaction. Interestingly, when participants had the option of making these purchases from a site that clearly posted its privacy policy and another that did not do so, they were inclined to pay a bit more to go with the site that plainly set forth its privacy policy.

Web control replaces privacy

The latest generation of websites - which attract tens of millions of users daily to share words, photos and videos about themselves and their friends - make a virtue of openness at the expense of traditional notions of privacy.

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The danger of such exposure is that it could affect careers when students seek jobs in the real world or private citizens seek public office.

The information age is it has been dubbed is very young, and many of the residents of the age (especially the younger ones) have yet to realize what sort of information they are giving out about themselves. I can think of a lot of scary things that I have read about social networking sites. Arrests made from facebook pictures? Companies investing myspace profiles. What you do online IS very public for the most part. This article makes a good point and I think a lot of people need to wake up to that fact if they want much of a future down the road. That night you broke the law and took pictures makes a great story at the bar, but with the pictures on Flickr it's a different story. Maybe not today, maybe not tomarrow, but someday it could really come around and bite you in the ass.

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Google threatens to shutdown Google Mail in Germany

Legislation drafted by Germany's Federal Ministry of Justice is being considered by the German Parliament. If passed, it would require telecommunications providers to collect and keep private information on their German customers for six months, in an effort to help with criminal surveillance. ISPs and providers of e-mail service would be required to collect and store information on users' mailing and internet habits and to do so in such a way as to identify individual web users.

Big brother is watching... or will be soon in Germany.

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