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Two cheeky fellows at MIT have turned the tables on the US government and its Total Information Awareness program by creating a website that offers information on government officials. Called Government Information Awareness the bonus is that anyone can add their own intelligence reports on officials, with no requirement that the information be verified. One of the project\'s creators, Chris Csikszentmihalyi, refers to it as \"sort of a citizen\'s intelligence agency.\" The TIA, now renamed the Terrorist Information act, after a public outcry over privacy concerns, was created to track possible terrorist activity by analyzing vast amounts of information stored in government and private databases, such as credit card data.
The rest of the story here from Boston.com and here from Wired. Also a great discussion at slashdot. GIA page is very slow to load, or will not load at all, as of 7/5 a.m.
Someone writes " Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer looks at the state of online privacy. With the onslaught of spam, almost all companies promise not to sell consumer data. But many don't mention that such information is rented. This means that the list owner won't release the data to an outside marketer, but it will send messages to the list on the outsider's behalf. Targeted lists available for rent number in the thousands, including those from magazines, professional organizations and even political interest groups such as Republicans for Jesus.
"Companies continually troll for, and exploit, personally identifiable information," said Joseph Turow, a media professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in mass marketing. "Some Web sites unabashedly collect all the information they can about visitors and market [it] as aggressively as they can to advertisers and other marketers."
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.
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.
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-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.
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.
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?
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
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.