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July 17, 2008

Everyone’s Getting In On It [9:48 am]

Time to think about encrypting everything one does? Lawmakers Probe Web Tracking (pdf)

An Internet provider based in Kansas used a monitoring technology earlier this year to track sites visited by its users, apparently without directly notifying them, according to a congressional panel investigating the action.

Embarq, which serves 1.3 million Internet customers in 18 states, including Virginia, acknowledged that it used “deep packet inspection” technology provided by the Silicon Valley firm NebuAd to direct targeted advertising to users.

Some lawmakers and others question whether such actions violate users’ rights to keep their Internet behavior to themselves. The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet will take up the subject at a hearing today.

The hearing: What Your Broadband Provider Knows About Your Web Use: Deep Packet Inspection and Communications Laws and Policies - witness list; webcast

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