The Spectacle Blog

Spy Cookies

By on 12.30.05 | 10:51AM

The issue to which Congressman Barr refers is detailed here. The National Security Agency immediately disabled the use of cookies, small files which are placed on a web user's computer by a web site to track their use, after being notified of the issue. These are the same cookies that cause a home page like Yahoo or your bank to recognize you. Web users can disable the use of cookies on their web browsers, thereby empowering them to choose whether or not any website, private or government, can track their usage. This hardly seems like an egregious invasion of privacy.

In the AP article linked above, a representative of the Center for Democracy and Technology, Ari Schwartz said,

Considering the surveillance power the NSA has, cookies are not exactly a major concern... But it does show a general lack of understanding about privacy rules when they are not even following the government's very basic rules for Web privacy.

In other words, the evidence indicates a dumb mistake.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From David Holman