Issue #7 04-12-00 @ 2:03 AM(cst)

In This Issue
Web Privacy Improves
==>by Steven Leahy
FOIA Exemption Proposed to Fight Hacking
==>by Steven Leahy
Bush Uses the Internet to Push His Tax Plan
==>by Steven Leahy

Plus -- The Quote of the Day

Web Privacy Improves

Steven Leahy
Web privacy rating company and research firm PC Data released ''the most comprehensive Web privacy study to date.'' The study, conducted over a nine-month period, surveyed almost 30,000 sites and rated them on a scale between zero and four stars.

The rating is based on whether the site contacted the user or shared user information with third parties and breaks down as follows:

**** Contact with permission
Never shared personally identifiable information with third parties, nor used such data to contact a user without permission.

*** Share with permission
Found to contact users and share personally identifiable information with third parties only with the user's explicit permission.

** Contact without permission
Found to contact users without permission, but only shared data with permission.

* Share without permission
Shared data without permission

Zero No privacy policy
Sites that did not have a stated policy.

The study found that of the 29,260 unique URL's surveyed, 1,027 sites, or 3.51%, qualified for a four star rating; 799 sites, or 2.73% qualified for a three star ratings; 2580 sites, or 8.82% qualified for a two star rating; 2580 or 7.69% qualified for 1 star, and; 22603 or 77.25% did not post a privacy policy.

However, of the top 1,000 most visited sites 8.6%, qualified for the highest rating. In addition, 630 of the top 1000 sites post some kind of policy, a major improvement from over the paltry two percent the industry offered two years ago.

A one star rating is not considered a ''bad'' rating. In fact, one star indicates the site has a privacy posted and ''is acting above the requirements of U.S. federal law.''

''This study shows that the market is responding to consumer concerns, and that government regulations at this point in time are both unnecessary and premature,'' said Pacific Research Institute director Sonia Arrison in a statement.

Download the full study

FOIA Exemption Proposed to Fight Hacking

Steven Leahy
A bill that will be introduced in Congress by Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Jim Moran, D-Va. on Wednesday is aimed at fighting Hackers who attack corporate web sites. The Bill would allow companies to share information about hacking incidents with federal law enforcement officials without worrying that the information will become public due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

"We are creating an exemption for a potential threat that is going to become one of the national security issues of our time," Marin said. Information pertaining to how the attack was done and what was done to fix the attack, will fall under the exemption.

The Bill will also grant limited immunity from the antitrust charge of collusion for companies that share hacking information with their competitors.

Bush Uses the Internet to Push His Tax Plan

Steven Leahy
Presumptive Republican nominee George W. Bush announced today that his campaign will run banner ads on Yahoo!. The ads coincide with the Monday April 17, 2000 deadline for Federal Income tax returns and will encourage voters to determine how much they would save under his tax package.

The Bush campaign has relied on the Internet throughout his run for the White House. He was the first to publish a list of all donors to his campaign on his Internet site. In addition, he has broadcast live interviews on his web site from around the country.

The Yahoo! banner will read: ''How much will the Bush tax cut save you? Find out here. Check out our innovative tax calculator.'' The ''Tax Calculator'' will allow a taxpayer to answer some questions and determine how much they would save if the Bush tax plan were implemented.

Quote of the Day

Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

==>Winston Churchill

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