Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: Privacy activists demand Tesco boycott over RFID - 29th Jan 2005

"Tesco's plan to increase the use of radio barcode technology is under fire from campaigners who claim it is a privacy nightmare. Consumer privacy advocates have launched a worldwide plan to boycott Tesco stores due to concerns over the retailer's increasing use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Tesco's current trials of the technology centre around using RFID to improve the efficiency and security of its supply chain by tagging crates or boxes of goods. The retailer has also explored tagging individual items such as DVDs..."

.: Congress Puts Spyware on Hit List - 28th Jan 2005

"The powerful House Commerce Committee on Wednesday made anti-spyware legislation a top priority, with members hoping to vote it out of committee in the next two to three weeks. "This is on the fast track, and we hope to be marking this bill up in the very near future," said committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas).

The bill aims to prevent spyware purveyors from hijacking a homepage or tracking users' keystrokes. It also requires that spyware programs be easily identifiable and removable, and allows for the collection of personal information only after express consent from users. The bill exponentially increases fines against abusers as well, authorizing the Federal Trade Commission to fine violators up to $3 million per infraction..."

.: Will spyware cause system gridlock within a year? - 19th Jan 2005

"The problem of spyware on home and corporate desktops is reaching epidemic levels according to many in the security industry, but with much of it going undetected it is still very much a silent killer. And such terms are no exaggeration, with one spyware expert telling that the high levels of rogue data traffic and the crippling clutter of spy applications on infected systems will see many PCs simply grinding to a halt.

Barrett likened awareness of spyware to that seen with the problem of spam. While it was only a personal issue it wasn't treated too seriously. When it became a corporate problem some started to take note and when it became a global, network problem everybody woke up..."

.: FBI cans controversial surveillance tool - 19th Jan 2005

"The FBI has all but retired its controversial e-mail wiretap system, formerly known as Carnivore, turning instead to commercially available software, according to two recently released reports to Congress.

The monitoring system, which was developed to intercept e-mail and monitor other online activities of suspected criminals, was not used in fiscal years 2002 and 2003, according to reports obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center under the Freedom of Information Act. According to the reports, the FBI used commercially available software to conduct court-ordered Internet surveillance in criminal investigations 13 times during that time period..."

.: Ridge wants fingerprints on passports - 13th Jan 2005

"The United States should issue passports that include a full set of the bearer's fingerprints, according to the departing secretary of homeland security.

The change would induce foreign governments to do the same on the passports they issue, Tom Ridge said Wednesday. Privacy advocates promised to fight the Ridge suggestion, in part because it would deliver the prints of American travelers to foreign governments. The State Department has been cool to it as well..."
[NY Times]

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