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Re: Big Brother Netscape



Pallas Anonymous Remailer <[email protected]> writes:

> Netscape's "what's related" is a backdoor for Netscape to monitor
> your surfing.

The original poster didn't even quite understand the magnitude of the
problem, which I believe is quite severe.  PRIVACY has been covering
some of the issues related to this, especially in issue 07.17.

A much more detailed description of what's going on and how to manage
the problem is in our paper "`What's Related?' Everything But Your
Privacy", online at <http://www.interhack.net/pubs/whatsrelated/>.

Abstract:

Netscape Communications Corporation's release of Communicator 4.06
contains a new feature, ``Smart Browsing'', controlled by a new icon
labeled What's Related , a front-end to a service that will recommend
sites that are related to the document the user is currently
viewing. The implementation of this feature raises a number of
potentially serious privacy concerns, which we have examined here.

Specifically, URLs that are visited while a user browses the web are
reported back to a server at Netscape. The logs of this data, when
used in conjunction with cookies, could be used to build extensive
dossiers of individual web users, even including their names,
addresses, and telephone numbers in some cases.

Keywords: Privacy, world-wide web (WWW), Netscape, Alexa, smart
browsing, what's related.

-- 
Matt Curtin [email protected] http://www.interhack.net/people/cmcurtin/