Privada Offers Online Privacy, at a Price >BY Rachel Chalmers.
Ordinarily, web server logs will tell administrators the IP address of visitors, what operating system and browser they are using, what plug-ins are installed, the date and time on their own systems and the name and contact details of whoever registered their domain name. If the user hasn't disabled the identifying features in Windows 98 and Intel's Pentium III, there is even more unique information up for grabs. By contrast, Web Incognito withholds everything but the IP address of the Privada Network. Users can take advantage of cookies, but their own identity is not disclosed. The service uses the Java-based PrivadaProxy client, which encrypts and compartmentalizes user information. Cookies are managed on a Privada network server. Users can block or delete them, and can use them from whichever personal computer they happen to be using.
"Our service is for protecting the privacy of consumers, not for hiding criminals or criminal activities," Bellissimo told the New York Times. "We felt it would be irresponsible not to give law enforcement agencies the information if they had valid warrants." Law-abiding consumers will have nothing to fear, of course, but the privacy protection features of Privada will have little value to political activists under repressive regimes. What $5 per month buys is the freedom to spend more money.
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|Date:||Aug 17, 1999|
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