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By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer
2 hours, 22 minutes ago
NEW YORK - The National Security Agency's Internet site has been placing files on visitors' computers that can track their Web surfing activity despite strict federal rules banning most of them.
These files, known as "cookies," disappeared after a privacy activist complained and The Associated Press made inquiries this week, and agency officials acknowledged Wednesday they had made a mistake. Nonetheless, the issue raises questions about privacy at a spy agency already on the defensive amid reports of a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States.
"Considering the surveillance power the NSA has, cookies are not exactly a major concern," said Ari Schwartz, associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a privacy advocacy group in Washington, D.C. "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."
Until Tuesday, the NSA site created two cookie files that do not expire until 2035 â likely beyond the life of any computer in use today.
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Read this and that the NSA is spying on NSA, CIA and DIA employees, wow this is a lot on their table, while it is necessary to police your own, wonder how much of their resources are used internally vis a vis their time on potential terrorist threats?
We like to say that dependability is more important than ability, Bill Belichickism....
Interesting, the AP website places a cookie on your computer when you visit it. DUH!
Lefties, all ideology, no rational thinking.
"cookies "track . . . Web surfing activity" only within the domain that created them. That is, a cookie installed when you visit www.nsa.gov cannot collect any data except that generated by your other visits to nsa.gov.
In any case, it turns out that the NSA recently installed a software upgrade, which was preprogrammed for the cookies, and the techs there reconfigured the software after it was called to their attention. It also turns out that the AP Web site puts a cookie on your compute when you visit."