Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: AIM+ creators delete "spyware" feature - 7th Jun 2002

"The creator of an add-on program for AOL Time Warner's Instant Messenger plans to eradicate a component that phones home after critics called the feature "spyware."

The recent decision comes after some users of Big-O Software's AIM+ program--which adds chat logging, ad removal and other features to AIM--complained that the program violated their privacy by sending information about their online identity back to a Big-O server. "The fact that AIM+ returns information to the Big-O Software servers has never been hidden from the users," Mark Swiss, beta tester and community organizer for Big-O Software, said last Friday in a response to consumers' complaints on the company's online forum..."

.: Cursor Company's Conduct Cursed - 7th Jun 2002

"In a last-ditch effort to shake their company's reputation as a purveyor of spyware, the co-founders of Comet Systems have thrown themselves into a lion's den of privacy vigilantes.

In recent days, Jamie Rosen and Tom Schmitter have been attempting to defend the Comet Cursor, their much-maligned free program for customizing cursors, in an online forum for users of Lavasoft's Ad-aware, a much-respected free program for removing spyware..."

.: Europe Passes Snoop Measure - 30th May 2002

"The European Parliament passed a controversial measure Thursday that would allow countries to force telecommunication companies to keep detailed records of customers' data for snooping purposes.

The Parliament passed the Communications Data Protection Directive, 351 to 133, despite an aggressive campaign by civil liberties groups who say the measure would enable police to spy on citizens.

Parliament members who voted for the directive say police need to access transmission data for e-mail, phone calls, Internet use, faxes, and pager messages to deter terrorist attacks..."

.: DoubleClick allowed to settle privacy suits - 22nd May 2002

"DoubleClick on Tuesday received federal court approval to settle state and federal lawsuits that charged the Net advertising company with violating the privacy of Internet surfers.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted final approval of the class-action settlement agreement, which requires DoubleClick to provide consumers with a privacy policy that will clearly describe in "easy-to-read sentences" its online ad-serving service, use of cookies, as well as other services and technologies..."

.: Group warns of EU telecom surveillance - 9th May 2002

"Telecommunications companies and Internet service providers across Europe may be forced to retain all telecommunications traffic data under new legislation that is being secretly written by a number of European governments, according to privacy advocates.

Statewatch, a U.K.-based Internet organization that monitors threats to civil liberties within Europe, said Wednesday that several European governments are deeply committed to bringing in universal surveillance of telecommunications within the European Union, despite strong opposition from the European Parliament. These governments, Statewatch says, are secretly drawing up a framework decision that would force the 15 member nations of the EU to bring in new laws that would place all phone calls, e-mails, faxes and Internet usage under surveillance. The companies affected by the legislation would have to let law enforcement agencies access this data..."

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