http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051228/ap_on_hi_te/spy_agency_privacy 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 Ã¢â¬â likely beyond the life of any computer in use today.