May 7th, 2002, 09:28 PM
Privacy a thing of the past.... Big Brother is the future
Very soon Big Brother will be watching you 24/7, and it will be truly undetectable.... What does everyone think of this?
Undetectable 'son of cookie' system wins grant
Taken from here
The developers of a 'son of cookie' web monitoring system have received a Proof of Concept grant from Scottish Enterprise to commercialise the system. Their non-cookie based web monitoring software does not (as indeed the name suggests) rely on cookies, but instead is intended to replace them with something far more powerful.
It has, as the features list makes clear, great privacy-invading potential. The "sensors" it uses:
- can be individually customised for any web visitor;
- can collect information rather than return pre-downloaded data.
- can be reconfigured remotely;
- are difficult to detect and delete;
- can be used to block access to sites, documents, data, emails, etc., based on content,
- can be preferentially customised for each user.
So the system can provide highly detailed tracking information for market research purposes, and "is also suitable for Internet and general computer surveillance on behalf of commercial organisations, governmental bodies and educational establishments alike. It can enable tracking of visitors to any website worldwide, and help to address Internet crime."
But dont worry, because: "The development of appropriate safeguards to prevent misuse of the technology in these contexts will be developed in parallel to the technology itself. These are a critical part of this project, and will include a modular approach to allow exclusion of technical capability and prevention of sensor re-configuration."
How, though, does it work? If it works, that is. This isn't entirely clear from the Scottish Enterprise announcement or the Strathclyde University press release announcing the award of the grant, but a Strathclyde's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering has a clipping from Business A.M. that gives more details.
The "sensor" program can monitor keystrokes and "the whole range of a user's internet usage," and it "can also be altered remotely, allowing it to be fine-tuned to the owner's or user's particular requirements." We trust you're as interested in that differentiation between 'owner' and 'user' as we are. The piece also suggest that companies gathering data could get their customers to use the software in exchange for a payment or discount on purchases, so clearly there's a component of the software that has to be run locally.
So you can just say no, right? Up to a point, we'd hazard. If it were absolutely clear that users would be warned and given the ability to refuse it, then there would really be no need for it to be pointed out that it is "difficult to detect and delete." So you could speculate about it coming hardwired and unannounced in, say, a bank's client software, being rolled out for security and monitoring reasons to all of the clients in a company network, or being sent to Microsoft Outlook users "in order to have your advice."
We hope the "appropriate safeguards" will be sufficient to take care of that last one, but if it's as powerful and unobtrusive as they suggest, it's difficult to see how abuses can be blocked.
May 7th, 2002, 09:38 PM
Heh, hopefully a troj check'll nab the little bugger. . .if/when they release. . .
May 7th, 2002, 09:39 PM
I think it's total BULLSH*T, but that's just my opinion.
May 7th, 2002, 09:42 PM
May 7th, 2002, 10:18 PM
I often wonder what goes through the minds of people who think up these things, and then have developers create it. What is their real purpose. Are they truly trying to bring a "better" experience to the end-user? If that is the case, then, WHY create something such as this, that is a big invasion to privacy? Also, do they really know if the end-user would want something like this or not?
Couldn't they come up with something better, which invades less, and does close to what they want?
If the case is, that the creators, are all about money and just for the money that it will bring them. Do they have no conscious. I often wonder what the future will be like. Along with all of the cool new toys, and shiny things, we will most likely be dodging privacy invading things on a daily basis. Things, that we would never have to worry about, we suddenly do.
Another scenario goes through my mind at times aswell....
We, civilization will eventually regress. Perhaps a large war erupts, and during that war, things many things, are destroyed. We eventually return to the forests, where our ancestors once carved out a living. But, things are all nice this time around. Water is poisoned, the fish have three eye's, wild toxic animals abound.
Ooh, i'm getting a head ache now. According to my deathclock reading, I won't really have to live in a ****ed up future. Thank god.
Have a nice day
May 7th, 2002, 10:36 PM
i dont know...they dont really give any kind of detail on how it is suposed to work(not what it does, how it works) so i'm a bit skeptical. also wouldnt that be considered illegal if it was installed without the person's knoledge...i mean i see definate invasion of privacy going on here if it works.
oh yea, and i'm sure there will be 3rd party software to block/disable/remove whatever it does not long after it(inevitably) becomes popular.
There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who dont.
May 7th, 2002, 10:51 PM
Yeah I feel the same way,
When/If it comes out then there will be more than likely something to remove or disable it. The funny thing is however is that all the people who are buying proprietary comps are already suffering from this becuase Compaq installs software as such. However this really will not make it far becuase the company will come under one great privacy invasion lawsuit. I have to side with gstudios and 8*B@LL on this one...well everything about the woods and fish 3 eye thing I dunno if I'll even go there.....
May 7th, 2002, 10:56 PM
hmmm strathclyde thats where my g/friend will be studying next yr!
/me bugs her - now go infiltrate their stronghold, find out all you can