Internet Privacy

Everything you need to know about, and to implement privacy on the internet


Surveys show that privacy is the #1 concern of Internet users today. For the first time in history, our speech, communications, beliefs, preferences, orientations and daily activities are being digitally archived. Personal and private information is gathered every time we use the Internet.

This information is compiled and sold by marketing companies without our knowledge or consent. The data is readily available to interested third parties, including our friends, enemies, neighbors, employers and others. It is becoming increasingly difficult to escape your past -- that posting you made in your college days to some radical newsgroup, the shrine you put up on your homepage to a certain celebrity... we live in a world where everything is recorded.

Internet users who use the Net to discuss health problems (depression, alcohol abuse, cancer); politically sensitive topics (abortion, criticism of governments or corporations, sexual orientation); human rights work (Internet communication in unfriendly countries or regimes) and other sensitive topics have no means of protecting their privacy.


Web browsing can leave a trail. Organizations keep a log of your browsing path and can disclose it without your knowledge. Websites can even determine which pages were viewed and which were not. If a site's logs were raided, your address, and accordingly, your identity would be exposed. Registration information at web sites can be collected and sold to any number of database services that can, with other information collected elsewhere, be compiled to create an eerily accurate individual profile.

Email is like a postcard. Because a message is sent to a server before being forwarded to you by your Internet Service Provider, people with access to that system can read any mail you send and receive without having access to your computer or your password.

Newsgroups archive postings. Internet users all over the world can easily access anything you post to newsgroups. Messages you casually throw off to friends are stored and could be retrieved years from now, out of date, out of context and regarded as a representation of you and your opinions. Popular databases like DejaNews archive each posting made to the Internet's 35,000 newsgroups. By simply typing in your name, anyone can instantly access anything you've written online.

Chat rooms offer the illusion of anonymity. People don't understand that what you say online, even in the most casual setting, is saved and treated as public record. Chat rooms are strange places because they offer the illusion of anonymity through aliases. Aliases do not offer true anonymity because it is possible to determine the IP address of the alias which can be used to track down your true identity.

WHAT YOU CAN DO realizes that online privacy is one of our customers' main concerns. To address these concerns, we have affiliated ourselves with Zero-Knowledge Systems, makers of Freedom -- an Internet privacy software solution that prevents your personal data from being revealed without your knowledge or consent. For more information on how you can take advantage of Freedom, please click on the link below:


To download Freedom now, please click on the link below:

Freedom Download


As a digital medium, the Internet has the ability to record and archive our entire online existence, creating a permanent record of our daily online activities. The Net is akin to a public forum, where what we say instantly becomes public record, accessible to anyone who's interested. Email invites a feeling of casualness, encouraging us to write comments to friends or colleagues as if we were talking by the water cooler. These messages, however, don't trail off into thin air like innocent office chatter. They leave permanent digital records that can be catalogued and later retrieved. In fact, this information can even be used by individuals to assume our identities and correspond online pretending to be us! Email messages we send openly display who we are, who we're writing to and what we're writing about. Whether an email contains confidential personal information or a simple message to a friend -- we have a fundamental right to privacy that is being ignored.

Our personal information is being collected all over the Internet. One site might ask for your birthdate, another might ask where you live while a third wants to know how much you earn. These little requests for information often go unnoticed. What we don't realize, however, is that behind the scenes, this information is pooled into large databases by information aggregating companies -- some of which hold data on over 176 million individuals and 96 million households. Combined with your credit information, education history, medical records, census info and more, the data is used to create eerily accurate profiles. These profiles are then made available to third parties that resell the information to marketers and advertisers, often without our knowledge or consent.

The Inability To Separate Online Identities
In the physical world, we tend to act differently depending on the situation we're in, who we're with, who's watching, etc. For example, Susan might act one way in a conversation with her friends, but completely different in an interview with a potential employer. Both "identities" are really Susan, but the two are never related. Many people use the Internet for a number of different activities. These different activities are currently all related back to a single digital identity. Everything Susan says or does online is automatically tied in to her actual identity.


The dangers of archiving, profiling and identity on the Internet can lead to many things, including:


With the growing public concern over Internet privacy, many companies have put up privacy policy pages. These pages outline how a company gathers information about its users and what it does with that information. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if a privacy policy is being enforced, and even if it is, mistakes still happen:

What if the opt-in list had been for new treatments for breast cancer or alcohol abuse, instead of information on new car models?

This is also an example of one way that spammers and other malicious individuals can get hold of your email address. This simple mistake can give a spammer not only your email address, but an idea of the income you earn, where you live, information about your family, etc...

Even the best intentions can lead to disaster. Mistakes, similiar to the one above, are becoming all too common as companies scramble to manage the mountains of information they gather from consumers. While a privacy policy is an important first step in gaining consumer trust, their proper implementation needs to be carefully considered - the best privacy policy is meaningless if it falls prey to human error.


Zero-Knowledge Systems is proud to present Freedom - the first product to provide Internet users with complete control of their online privacy by offering them the ability to create and manage multiple digital pseudonyms (identities) for online communications. A digital pseudonym lets you create a unique online identity for yourself (which may or may not be like your true self) that you can use to perform all your Internet-related tasks. Freedom pseudonyms ("nyms") are email addresses, ending in, for example --

Users can create up to 5 nyms for various Internet activities. For example, Susan might opt to create, in addition to, which is used for regular correspondence . She uses the identity to surf activist web sites, email her political contacts, chat in political chat rooms and post to political newsgroups and discussion lists. This enables Susan to actively participate in these forums without her political or social views being linked to her actual identity. With Freedom, Susan is able to benefit from the continued use of private identities, which are unique and persistent, yet completely removed from her actual identity. No one - not even Zero-Knowledge Systems - can find out who is behind a digital identity.

WHAT UNIQUE PRIVACY PROTECTING FEATURES DOES FREEDOM OFFER? realizes that online privacy is one of our customers' main concerns. To address these concerns, we have affiliated ourselves with Zero-Knowledge Systems, makers of Freedom -- an Internet privacy software solution that prevents your personal data from being revealed without your knowledge or consent. To download Freedom now, please click here:

Freedom Download

For more information on how you can take advantage of the Freedom solution, please click on the link below:

Freedom Information


It's Saturday morning and you hop on the Net looking for some info on smoking related illnesses 'cuz your best friend's been thinking of quitting lately and you figured you'd help out with some cold, hard facts.

You hit a few web sites, buy a book on the evils of tobacco, and sign up for a newsletter that delivers a "tip of the week" for people looking to kick the habit.

A few months later, it's time to renew your medical insurance at work but your boss informs you that in order to qualify, you'll need to take a complete medical and chest x-ray.


Because your company's insurer drew the wrong conclusion after buying your profile from a marketing firm that's been tracking your online habits.

Sound invasive? - it is.

Right now, companies are working on new computer technology that will enable many of our household appliances to be networked through the Internet.

Your microwave is on the fritz? No problem, hit a few buttons on the console, and the unit will instantly seek out the manufacturer's website through its Internet connection and download the code it needs to correct the problem.

Out of eggs? Your refrigerator is also Net-ready, and through it you can email your local grocer to fill out your next food order.

But as more and more of the products we use each day become Internet- connected, the personal information they collect will be fed to marketers - and bought and sold without our knowledge or consent.

Those eggs your fridge has been ordering online for you - coupled with some high-fat foods and cheeses - set off a few warning bells at your insurance company which recently purchased this information. Don't be surprised to see your premiums go up next year, or when ads for cholesterol-lowering products start to appear on your PC.

It's no longer possible to avoid being tracked online.

The potential for abuse is enormous, as false assumptions are made about us based on bits of information picked up here and there.

As digital television emerges, our viewing habits will also be tracked by companies who monitor what we watch, when we watch it and what we buy.

Spending a lot of time on the home-shopping channel? Be prepared for a slew of invasive marketing aimed at you for varied products and services.

Tuned in to the Playboy Channel last night? Watch out for adult advertisements next time your daughter logs onto the Net from her home computer.

If we don't lay down the law regarding Internet privacy while the Net is still in its infancy, we'll never be able to reclaim it..."

Once your personal data is lost - spread out in 1000's of databases all over the world - you can *never* get it back.

As individuals, we need the ability to "pull the blinds" online and say, "Hey, I have a right to privacy!" realizes that online privacy is one of our customers' main concerns. By hosting a Freedom Server, we are addressing these concerns by providing you with a privacy solution that prevents your personal data from being revealed without your knowledge or consent. To download Freedom now, please click here:

Freedom Download

For more information on how you can take advantage of the Freedom solution, please click on the link below:

Freedom Information

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1/17/00 6:12:58 PM