The Invisible Web

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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent

Posted by invizweb on August 16, 2008

Thanks to Ralph Bernardo at Disinfo.

Ellen Nakashima writes in the Washington Post:

Several Internet and broadband companies have acknowledged using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers, according to letters released on August 11 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

And Google, the leading online advertiser, stated that it has begun using Internet tracking technology that enables it to more precisely follow Web-surfing behavior across affiliated sites.

The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more than 30 Internet companies might have gathered data to target customers. The revelations came in response to a bipartisan inquiry of how more than 30 Internet companies might have gathered data to target customers. Some privacy advocates and lawmakers said the disclosures help build a case for an overarching online-privacy law.

“Increasingly, there are no limits technologically as to what a company can do in terms of collecting information . . . and then selling it as a commodity to other providers,” said committee member Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who created the Privacy Caucus 12 years ago. “Our responsibility is to make sure that we create a law that, regardless of the technology, includes a set of legal guarantees that consumers have with respect to their information.”

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Surveillance Bill Offers Protection To Telecom Firms

Posted by invizweb on June 21, 2008

Thanks to Gary Baddeley @ Disinfo for posting it originally on the site.

Dan Eggen and Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writers, wrote:

Deal Would Extend U.S. Wiretap Power, Shield Providers Facing Privacy Lawsuits

House and Senate leaders agreed yesterday on surveillance legislation that could shield telecommunications companies from privacy lawsuits, handing President Bush one of the last major legislative victories he is likely to achieve.

The agreement extends the government’s ability to eavesdrop on espionage and terrorism suspects while effectively providing a legal escape hatch for AT&T, Verizon Communications and other telecom firms. They face more than 40 lawsuits that allege they violated customers’ privacy rights by helping the government conduct a warrantless spying program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The breakthrough on the legislation came hours after the White House agreed to Democratic demands for domestic spending additions to an emergency war funding bill. Taken together, the bills — two of the last major pieces of legislation to be approved by Congress this year — suggest that Bush still wields considerable clout on national security issues but now must acquiesce to Democratic demands on favored domestic priorities to secure victory.

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Editor’s Note: In other words, Democrats are kowtowing to Bush left and right. What is the difference between the two major parties? Retroactive legal protection? I thought retroactive laws were illegal.

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