Re: PRIVACY Forum Bulletin

From Michiel Dethmers <>
Date Sun, 28 May 2000 02:49:01 +0100

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PRIVACY Forum wrote:
> Greetings.  I apologize for this message outside of the normal flow
> of PRIVACY Forum Digests, but I felt that this was important enough
> to warrant it.

Yes, I agree it's an important issue and I don't mind the interruption.
I have only recently become a member of this list and it doesn't seem
too busy.
I was thinking similar things recently when I was reading the privacy
policy of eGroups. I realised that a lot of activist groups have a group
on there and there is very little protection of the information that
comes of simply analysing the logfiles. It is quite possible that this
will be available to anyone who can pay for the information, or can put
"legal" pressure to make it available to them (especially in the future,
your article is an example). They (eGroups) try to explain that they
cannot control the fact that ads get linked from them, which means that
some hits will appear in the logs of the companies that place them
(including referrer). This is similar to the "bugs" you mention. And the
worst of all is the fact that you have to go somewhere special, or use
"ad extinguishers" to get rid of them, which most punters won't do. I
run a site myself,, where I have this information and
it's up to me to refrain from using it. The same is valid for
(sub) sites.
What we need is a "community" site which has the trust to not do that,
have a /dev/null as their logfile and don't log anything at all. That
way the information is lost and even pressure will not retrieve it. The
problem lies in the fact how to establish this kudos, at least I
wouldn't have a clue how to convince a large group of people that you
have the right intent, and that you won't hand it over to "big money" if
offered. *You* may be convinced about it, but how do you tell others?

I could quite easily, and I have thought of it, make a "large activist
community" site. I suspect that quite a few others have thought the
same. This is one of the main reasons why I haven't. But if anyone knows
a way, I'd be interested to hear.


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