Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: Spyware on My Machine? So What? - 6th Dec 2004

"Not all web surfers think spyware is a problem. Some say the snoopy software is a fair trade-off for free applications, even with the intrusion into their computers and lives.

"Typically the assumption has been that spyware sneaks onto computers, or users are unaware of what they have agreed to install," said Gregg Mastoras, a senior security analyst at antivirus vendor Sophos. "But some people actually do knowingly install adware because they want to use a particular application that comes bundled with it. Some just aren't particularly concerned by adware's presence on their computers..."

.: Is Personal Privacy Going the Way of the Buggy Whip? - 6th Dec 2004

""In an earlier essay I touched on the continuing erosions of personal privacy. These erosions are not simply the result of governmental database intrusion (although that certainly bears watching), but they're also occurring due to technological innovations that could, conceivably, lead to a time when everybody is watching and recording everyone else. Now that seven months have passed since that previous article on personal privacy, it's time for an update.

Surveillance technologies already seem to be an accepted norm, although currently they're principally used by businesses and by governments..."
[Future Brief]

.: Proposed database stirs privacy concerns - 30th Nov 2004

"Government would have information on all college students. A proposal by the federal government to create a vast new database of enrollment records on all college and university students is raising concerns that the move will erode the privacy rights of students.

Until now, universities have provided individual student information to the federal government only in connection with federally financed student aid. Otherwise, colleges and universities submit information about overall enrollment, graduation, prices and financial aid without identifying particular students..."
[Seattle P-I]

.: Court Documents Not Fit for Web? - 23rd Nov 2004

"Court records are presenting a tricky challenge for open-government types and privacy advocates. In most parts of the country, people can drive to a courthouse to view all types of records. But should those same records -- which include medical histories, divorce records, arrests -- be online in the age of omniscient search engines and identity thieves?

The controversy has driven many courts to appoint special commissions to deal with the issue. On one hand, some argue, is the right of Americans to know how they're being governed. On the other is the erosion of privacy, threats to private lives and even physical danger..."

.: Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents - 23rd Nov 2004

"Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you.

According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters..."

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