June 2, 2006 10:30 AM PDT

Week in review: Keeping watch over Web surfing

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A Bush administration plan to keep tabs on Web users' surfing habits took a radical turn, worrying tech companies and Web surfers alike.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said that requiring Internet service providers to save records of their customers' online activities is necessary in the fight against terrorism. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller privately met with representatives of AOL, Comcast, Google, Microsoft and Verizon last week and said that Internet providers--and perhaps search engines--must retain data for two years to aid in antiterrorism prosecutions

"We want this for terrorism," Gonzales said, according to one person familiar with the discussion.

If the European Union's approach were adopted, Internet companies would be required to save logs showing the identities of e-mail and, perhaps, instant messaging correspondents in addition to data about which customer was assigned which Internet address.

If data retention becomes viewed primarily as an antiterrorism measure, recent legal and political spats could complicate the Justice Department's efforts to make it standard practice. Gonzales' earlier position had emphasized only how mandatory data retention would help thwart child exploitation.

ISPs and telecommunications companies expressed concern about the feasibility of recording Americans' online activities.

"We have real reservations about data retention requirements because of the security and privacy risks attached to it," said Mark Uncapher, senior vice president of the Information Technology Association of America. ITAA's board members include representatives of AT&T, Sybase, Fujitsu and Unisys.

CNET News.com readers predicted a loss of privacy and personal freedom, and also questioned the administration's motives.

"The Justice Dept couldn't get this proposal approved, so they switched to their all-purpose backup, terrorism," one News.com reader wrote on the TalkBack forum.

More views of Vista
Microsoft's new operating system, which won't arrive for consumers until early next year, has a new collaboration feature that allows laptops to share information with other, nearby machines. The underlying technology is known as "People Near Me" and is being used by Microsoft for its own software projects and by other developers. The company has built one program based on it into Vista--Windows MeetingSpace--that lets people share and view files.

MeetingSpace is designed with a couple of situations in mind. First is the scenario where people meet up at a coffeehouse and want to share data with one another. The other might be at a business, where several people are in a meeting and want to be able to view and edit a presentation together.

Got views on Vista?

With the new version of Windows, Microsoft has created an operating system that offers advances in many areas, but laptop battery life is not one of them. Going by internal tests at one hardware maker, which declined to be named, there is noticeably lower battery life when Vista runs in its "average power" mode.

Microsoft has said that the current versions of the update deliver less battery life than Windows XP, but the company has also said it hopes to close the gap in the coming months. Even so, any lowering in battery life is a blow to the rest of the PC industry. Manufacturers have found it a struggle to boost the battery life of notebook computers, even as they've made easy advances in other areas, such as disk space and processor performance.

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9 comments

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Web Tracking
The Bush Administration is full of Morons! Hahahaha!
Posted by computerman822 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You want to fight Terrorism?
Impeach Bush and get the hell out of IRAQ. Put our soldiers in Afghanistan where they belong hunting down and eliminating Al Quaeda. Then, stay the hell out of the middle east and play nice.

I'd rather become a thief and steal a laptop in order to keep my anonymity than to be spied on by Dubbaya's illegal spying practices, even though I have nothing to hide. It's the principle of the matter. Where do our privacy rights come into play?

I'd like to thank every ******* that voted for this monster. You've helped bring more corruption, lies, and police state politics to the world than it ever had before. Bravo.
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, the Righ to Privacy is
guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the Constitution...which according to DUmBYA is "Just a 'G/D' piece of paper!"

AND have you ever heard of DIEBOLD rigging the votes? And what about "CHADS" 'residing' in the very state that DUmYA's BROTHER is Governor of and who was visably INvisable during THAT 'escapade'?

In addition to which, you think it's bad HERE? Not YET! THIS is what is coming soon to a neighborhood near YOU! :::::::::

Chinese = #1 in organ transplants in WORLD from UNanaesthetized people kept in concentration camps!!! The Chinese Communist Government is making the German Nazis of WWII look like Mother Teresa.

READ about it HERE:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/156/" target="_newWindow">http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/156/</a>
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
McCarthyism reigns supreme
In the 1950s, McCarthy would use "Communism" as a way to
justify actions that were unethical and illegal.

Today, Gonzales (and this administration in general) uses the
word "Terrorism" to do the exact same thing.

Apparently we don't learn from history. So we are doomed to
repeat a period that is driven by unwarranted fear.

This administration continues to use the "T" word to effectively
by-bass that nasty little thing known as the Constitution.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's EXACTLY what this is and
you stated it quite eloquently and precisely. ;)
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Web Surfing
1984, 22 years later.
Posted by tdrv (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Look up the "Year 2012" and
see what you find.

Think about this: 1984 Take the 8 and the 4, add them together, you get 12. Now, take the 1 and the 9, add them together and you get 10. Add 10 to the 10 you got and you get 20. Put that 20 in front of the 12 you got earlier and you get 2012.

Now, go ahead and use your search engine to look up the "year 2012", sift through all the info you find there and then rock back on your heels a bit and reflect upon what you just learned.
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Actually it's the year 2012 to look out for..........
Look up the "Year 2012" and see what you find.

Think about this: 1984 Take the 8 and the 4, add them together, you get 12. Now, take the 1 and the 9, add them together and you get 10. Add 10 to the 10 you got and you get 20. Put that 20 in front of the 12 you got earlier and you get 2012.

Now, go ahead and use your search engine to look up the "year 2012", sift through all the info you find there and then rock back on your heels a bit and reflect upon what you just learned.
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
 

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