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Gator CPO at the Department of Homeland Security 846

Posted by samzenpus
from the fox-in-the-hen-house dept.
pcidevel writes "D. Reed Freeman, the "Chief Privacy Officer" of Claria Networks (formerly Gator), the creators of the pervasive spyware package GAIN, has been appointed to the Department of Homeland Security's "Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee"."
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Gator CPO at the Department of Homeland Security

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  • EULA (Score:5, Funny)

    by xsee (469209) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:12AM (#11764057)
    Really. Spyware? You dont read ALL the license agreement?
    • CNET News.com (Score:5, Informative)

      by geekboy642 (799087) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:23AM (#11764148) Journal
      Salon.com requires a soul-sucking registration link.
      Here's CNET News.com's version of the story:

      Adware maker joins federal privacy board
      Published: February 23, 2005, 5:19 PM PST
      By Declan McCullagh
      Staff Writer, CNET News.com
      TrackBack Print E-mail TalkBack

      An executive from Claria, formerly called Gator, will be one of 20 members of the committee, the department said Wednesday.

      "This committee will provide the department with important recommendations on how to further the department's mission while protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information of citizens and visitors of the United States," Nuala O'Connor Kelly, the department's chief privacy officer, said in a statement.

      Claria bundles its pop-up advertising software with ad-supported networks such as Kazaa. Recently, the privately held company has been trying to seek credibility by following stricter privacy guidelines and offering behavioral profiling services to its partners.
      In an e-mail message to CNET News.com, Kelly defended the inclusion of a Claria representative on the committee. "I am proud of, supportive of and grateful for those individuals in the public and private sector who are willing to take on the hard tasks, fight the good fight, and who surprise us with creative, fresh and unconventional thinking, and who make change where change is needed through their hard work and personal dedication," Kelly said.

      In the past, Claria's pop-up ad software has riled some users who claimed it was annoying, installed without permission, and not easy to delete. Publishers also were irked about pop-up ads for a rival's product appearing next to their own Web sites. Catalog retailer L.L. Bean sued Gator for alleged trademark infringement.

      Claria's representative on the Homeland Security privacy board is company Vice President D. Reed Freeman, a former Federal Trade Commission staff attorney. Other members include executives from Intel, Computer Associates International, IBM, Oracle and the Cato Institute.
      Kelly said Freeman will "bring his courage and conviction to the board, and will contribute productively--and constructively--to the board's and the public's dialogue on privacy and homeland security."

      The committee is tasked with providing "external expert advice to the secretary and the chief privacy officer on programmatic, policy, operational and technological issues that affect privacy, data integrity and data interoperability."

      In February 2003, Gator settled a high-profile case brought by The Washington Post, The New York Times, Dow Jones and other media companies. Terms of that deal were quiet, but Claria appears to have stopped delivering pop-ups to those publishers' sites.
      Claria did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      CNET News.com's Stefanie Olsen contributed to this report.
      • Re:CNET News.com (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Raul Acevedo (15878) <[moc.aratnac] [ta] [luar]> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:26AM (#11764472) Homepage
        Salon.com requires a soul-sucking registration link.

        Oh please grow up.

        It may come as a complete shock to some people here, but some companies have to make a living somehow. And some of those companies, like Salon.com, have been struggling for quite a while and are not hyper-rich media conglomerates who can afford to not try whatever they can to make an honest living.

        You do not have a God-given right to free content provided at the expense of the work of others. (And no I don't care if Salon.com didn't write the original article, they provide plenty of home brewed articles and opinion which I think are totally worth it.) Deal with it.

        • Nice Troll (Score:4, Interesting)

          by NickFortune (613926) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @05:51AM (#11764726) Homepage Journal
          So they make an income from the registration details they take? By selling them on to marketers, one assumes. I'm afraid that like the GP, I'm no fan of spam-for-content as a business model.

          I will grant the right of Slaon to supply content under terms of their own choosing. I will grant that if we dislike those terms we are free to go elsewhere instead - as in fact I do.

          However I do not enjoy registration pages, and see no reason I should be required to enjoy them. Nor do I see any reason why any of us should be required or even expected to approve of a business model that is based upon supplying personal information to spammers, mass-marketers and other spies.

          The issue of "hyper rich media congolmerates" is a red herring. there are many sites that provide qualiy content without requiring registration. Others (the New York Times springs to mind) undoubtedly fall into that cateory and yet still collect such information. I do wonder why anyone would spread such FUD. I can only assume that given the topic of the OP, the shills and astroturfers are out in force today.

          To summarise: I don't like registration screens, I am never going to like registration screens, and I shall continue to publicly disapprove of them as I see fit.

          Maybe you should learn to deal with it.

        • It may come as a complete shock to you, but companies don't have a God-given right for profit.
          • Re:CNET News.com (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ScentCone (795499)
            It may come as a complete shock to you, but companies don't have a God-given right for profit.

            But they do have the right to not be your slaves. If they produce something, and set the terms by which they're willing to let you use it, they do have the right to expect you to honor those terms. If you think the content is important enough, you'll respect them. If you won't respect them, then hopefully you have enough personal integrity to not steal the content.

            No one has a right to profit. They have the r
      • by johansalk (818687) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:56AM (#11764596)

        "I am proud of, supportive of and grateful for those individuals in the public and private sector who are willing to take on the hard tasks, fight the good fight, and who surprise us with creative, fresh and unconventional thinking, and who make change where change is needed through their hard work and personal dedication," Kelly said. Kelly said Freeman will "bring his courage and conviction to the board, and will contribute productively--and constructively--to the board's and the public's dialogue on privacy and homeland security."

        What I find most outrageous is such talk typical of this administration to lie, and lie, and lie; So now a software that installed itself without permission, was not easy to delete, and annoyed the hell out of people is something to be praised for and proud of as testimony of "courage and conviction", "willingness to take on the hard tasks", "willingness to fight the good fight", "creative, fresh and unconventional thinking"?

        What about thieves? They're pretty much the same; are we going to admire trespassers and looters?

        Damn this kleptocracy; damn it!

        • It's not so bad (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jim_v2000 (818799)
          GAIN acually happens to be one of the less malevolent pieces of adware. It does not install itself, it doesn't do pop-ups, it doesn't hijack your machine. It's a legit piece of advertising that software authors use to make money off their programs. (Kazaa for example) If you don't want it, read your EULA's before installing those free screen savers.
    • and in other news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel@b[ ]een.com ['cgr' in gap]> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:48AM (#11764302) Homepage Journal
      Mr. Osamma Bin Ladin is appointed the head of the homeland defence department.... I mean, who better to tell us how a terrorist thinks?
    • Why it makes perfect sense.

      its all done for your own good! for freedom! [popealien.com]

      actual freedom may not be exactly as shown. privacy not included.
    • Re:EULA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by randallpowell (842587) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @05:33AM (#11764686)
      Perfect. The person in charge of a large spyware company is in charge of network security for our nation? What is next? A promoter of torture as Attorney General?
  • The Onion (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:13AM (#11764063)
    Jeez, with a headline like that I thought I was on the Onion for a second there...
  • by techsoldaten (309296) * on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:14AM (#11764070) Journal
    In other news, Dr. Jack Kevorkian has been appointed National Director of Health and Human Services, Kenneth Lay was appointed Director of the Treasury and Bill Gates was appointed CIO of the whole Federal Government.

    M
  • by Svartalf (2997) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:14AM (#11764076) Homepage
    Isn't this like putting a fox in charge of the security for a henhouse?

    Honestly... DHS doesn't need to be worrying about this sort of tripe- they've got bigger fish to fry. Why in the HELL are they bothering with this when the things they're doing right at the moment wouldn't have done a damn thing to prevent 9/11 from occuring and wouldn't prevent a repeat?
  • by grimholtz (683825) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:14AM (#11764078)
    Ex-GAIN employees in the "Integrity Advisory Committee"??? That's like Richard Stallman working for the Patent Office!
    • by luvirini (753157) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:30AM (#11764195)
      Good idea, we need to start a campaign to get him appointed as Commissioner for Patents in USPTO.
    • by r6144 (544027) <[moc.uhos] [ta] [k6r]> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:53AM (#11764326) Homepage Journal
      Given his enormous software knowledge, RMS can probably identify more prior arts in patent applications than the average patent examiner, thus striking down more of these applications.

      Unfortunately, I think quite a lot of patent applications cover ideas that any expert can think of in three hours but were never used before because no one apart from the applicant bothered to use them, which means they probably have no prior art. A patent examiner cannot do much more than an ordinary citizen when the problem lies in the law itself rather than its enforcement.

    • Re:what a joke! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by noims (23711)

      Ex-GAIN employees in the "Integrity Advisory Committee"??? That's like Richard Stallman working for the Patent Office!

      Exactly.

      That's why I can actually see the wisdom in this. While I do think it's an awful thing, I believe that no committee making these kinds of decisions should be one-sided.

      The question is, what are the leanings of the other members of the committee? One post seems to imply that 'we' should be happy with them.

      In other words, the fox should advise on the security of the hen-house s

  • by EEBaum (520514) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:15AM (#11764081) Homepage
    Governor of New Jersey to head Environmental Protection Agency

    Oh, wait...
  • by Javert42 (55387) <javert42@gm a i l . com> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:15AM (#11764088)
    Who knows more about data privacy than somebody who has compromised the privacy of millions?
    • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:38AM (#11764250)
      Who knows more about data privacy than somebody who has compromised the privacy of millions?
      I see what you're getting at, but I really don't think it applies in this case. Sure, blackhats / crackers make excellent security professionals who can apply their skills positively. But note that these are always people who first and foremost were interested in technical skills and intellectual stimulation from pushing security systems.

      On the other hand, the people who go into the field of marketing have one well defined goal: to manipulate and deceive consumers for profit. I have studied alongside these people when I made the huge mistake of wanting to take some marketing courses. The ideas I learned and people I met literally made me sick to my stomach.

      I do not know a single marketing person who is in it for academic interest -- those people tend to be psychologists. Marketers are business oriented and highly profit motivated to the extent where everything else (privacy, ethics, environment, culture) take back seat. These people sell their souls in pursuit of money.

      You might think I'm exaggerating. But look at the specific people in question. Who works at DoubleClick or Gator, unless they have a genuine professional interest in the wide reaching manipulation of the public for profit sake? I really have zero confidence in these people's s ability to make an honest, well meaning effort towards the rights and privacy of consumers and citizens.
  • by bersl2 (689221) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:16AM (#11764091) Journal
    "Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee"

    "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
    • by luvirini (753157)
      newspeak anyone? http://www.newspeakdictionary.com/ [newspeakdictionary.com]

      oh and they do also have a section on modern newspeak not only the Orwell version.

    • by dnoyeb (547705)
      On the surface one could make the argument that having 1 in 20 be an actual privacy violator could add insite on how to protect privacy.

      But That is awefully surprising from such a 'spiritual' administration. I would think they would value what is in someones heart over what is in his head. If he means bad, he will figure out a way to do bad. It does not matter what job you put him in...
  • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:21AM (#11764127)
    If this is for real (and I do trust Salon) this falls into the O.M.F.G. category. Someone slap me.

    I recently listened to a documentary on CBC radio [www.cbc.ca] about pervasive irony in today's world. It was an interesting program because they were suggesting that the political scene these days is like a living satire. It's just too weird... and this news about a spyware marketer being appointed to a privacy committee is just insane. I see four fingers!
    • This actually makes a lot of sense. DOHS is not about protecting your privacy, it's about invading it. They have hired the experts.
      • I absolutely adore the use of terms like "privacy officer" when describing these people. I see the irony but I'm starting to become concerned that the public may not anymore. People, the Orwellian world is here now and it's so obvious that it's worth reflecting on it for a moment. doublespeak [wordlookup.net] is the twisting of language such that a phrase really means something quite different. Such terms become generally accepted by the public. Invading countries: war, invasion == spreading democracy. War is peace. See? In
  • There's No Bottom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ray Radlein (711289) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:22AM (#11764137) Homepage
    I miss those heady days of yore, when there was still room for more outrage in my life. When I could stil be surprised by new examples of indifference, incompetence, and outright evil.

    These days, I am no longer surprised at no longer being surprised by the ghastly things this Administration routinely does.
    • by antic (29198)
      Wish I had mod points for you Ray. I, like you, (and as The Onion would say) can no longer believe this shit.

      I couldn't make up a story this ridiculous, yet it's true. Go world, go.
    • by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@mo[ ]lectric.com ['nke' in gap]> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:06AM (#11764390)
      Yea, what is WITH this "fox guarding the hen house" complex the bush admin has?

      We have oil execs writing our energy policy, privacy invaders writing our privacy laws. Drug companies writing our drug-company laws... It's absolute madness.

      Are there any bushies out there who can defend this and tell me why I shouldn't be having a fit?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:38AM (#11764525)
        Are there any bushies out there who can defend this and tell me why I shouldn't be having a fit?

        Well, the reasons are very complicated. First of all it is a good strategy because -

        Hey look over there, gays undermining the biblical foundation of marriage!

      • by rhizome (115711) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @06:04AM (#11764770) Homepage Journal
        When all you have are foxes, everything looks like a henhouse.

      • Are there any bushies out there who can defend this and tell me why I shouldn't be having a fit?
        Why ask the Bushies? While I personally don't like the Bush administration a lot, I do know that this sort of thing goes on in pretty much every government. Most governments have nepotism, favours for friends, one-hand-washes-the-other, corruption, special interests and hunger for power at their roots. Democrat, socialist, green, communist or liberal governments are no exception.
  • Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zaxios (776027) <zaxios@gmail.com> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:23AM (#11764146) Journal
    the Administration thinks that keeping her out of the marketplace is the best thing they can do for data privacy. Or maybe this is a dream.
  • by Garabito (720521) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:25AM (#11764168)
    It sounds as authentic as The Ministry of Truth.

    Actually, "Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee" sounds much more like Ministry of Truth.

    • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:56AM (#11764357)
      I'm actually very relieved that slashdot readership recognizes, as I do, the intense parallels to Orwell's 1984 (Newspeak, doublespeak, etc.) This is encouraging as right now our society is still free thinking enough to see the attempts at manipulating us for what they are -- ridiculous lies to the public. There is cause for concern though, this is how it starts, and by the time it has caught on (unchallenged) people are no longer aware of the daily irony, and satire turns into daily life.
  • Only in America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmoHongos (467830) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:28AM (#11764186)
    A spyware company has a "chief privacy officer?!" What's next, a security-obssessed government that makes us less secure? Oh, wait...

    Seriously, though, I can almost see the logic in this appointment. One thing spyware companies know is computer security. They defeat it all the time. I'm surprised the fine folks from Cool Web Search weren't appointed.

    On the other hand, the more cynical side of me sees how reminiscent this is of early 20th century American politics, when the government appointed Big Business leaders to commitees on workers' rights. Money and connections will buy you anything.
    • Re:Only in America (Score:4, Insightful)

      by demachina (71715) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @11:38AM (#11766677)
      "What's next, a security-obssessed government that makes us less secure?"

      Reference the rhetoric from great Britain this week. They are in the run up to an election and Blair is fighting for his life. Blair apparently took some pages out of the Bush play book and it makes it so transparent when you see another government doing exactly the same thing the Republican's just did, stoke massive fear right before an election to win reelection.

      - Tony Blair quotes: "Nothing must stand in the way of protecting the security of our people."
      - They are trying to ram through yet another variant of the Patriot act "The Bill introduces "control orders" which will enable the Home Secretary to stop terror suspects travelling or using phones and the internet - without the need for a trial.". It may allow indefinite home detention of anyone the Home Secretary unilaterally decides is a threat to security.
      - Before the House of Commons Blair said: Britain was facing "terrorism without limit" and "those considerations of national security have to come before civil liberties however important they are".

      The cynics in the crowd suspect Blair's party is doing the same thing the Republican's did with he Patriot act to the Dems, they have to vote for it no matter how onerous it is or Blair's party will accuse them of being soft on terrorism. So either the party in power gets sweeping new powers or they make their opponents look weak and take a potential bath in the election.

      Its amazing this works because me, given a clear choice, I'd vote for the party protecting my civil liberties over ineffective security laws.
  • by Tethys_was_taken (813654) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:28AM (#11764187) Homepage
    All your base are belong to Claria.
  • by epanastasi (748107) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:28AM (#11764189)
    All I see posted are stupid remarks about how ironic this is... but nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

    /. has enough people reading it to destroy the bandwidth of half the servers out there, but it looks like nobody is going to take this as a serious threat to privacy and call up their congressman or write a letter/email to major news networks, or anything else that will change things...

    It's a sad day seeing this article exist, but it will be an even sadder day when 90% of these comments are scored "Funny" and we are doomed to sit idly by our world is taken away from us... thanks guys, i appreciate it.
    • by luvirini (753157) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:52AM (#11764317)
      Well, the thing is. Too many people who read ./ are cynics. As it seem to be the normal thing for anyone who actually thinks about the world. I think quite many people here used to be fired up by things when they were young, but lost that fire when the world just got crazier and crazier. That was actually my path, and judging by the comments modded insightfull in general, things that have highest probability of being modded that are cynically-insightfull.
    • by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:58AM (#11764361)
      And what would you have people do? Lots of us DO email, write, and telephone our representatives. But no letter, phonecall, or email has even a fraction of the power that a $10,000 "campaign contribution" does.

      Campaign contributions mean that political representation goes to those with the most money to donate. Democracy died long ago.

      • by Mac Degger (576336) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @05:00AM (#11764611) Journal
        This is sadly too true: the moment campaign contributions were classified as 'free speech', the rich people effectively had more than one vote, and democracy as most people understand it these days has gone down the toilet in the US.

        With all the wierd shit going down, I really don't get why there hasn't been more demonstrations or even a revolution across the pond...
        • You guys, you have the right to bear arms. For some reason you mostly seem to think it's the right to bear arms against your fellow citizens. It's not. It's the right to bear arms against tyranny of government. Am I ringing any bells?
          • The 2nd amendment was intended to provide arms for State Militia. The States had the right to leave the Union and they had the right have State run armies to protect us from the Federal Government. Lincoln's illegal war changed that.
        • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @07:38AM (#11765043) Homepage
          I really don't get why there hasn't been more demonstrations or even a revolution across the pond...

          Because 90% of us are mindless sheep. Doing exactly what our leader tells us.

          Americans on average are the stupidest population center on this planet. We send our kids to schools that are ineffective, graduate young adults that can not read, we have a 68% return rate on our "rehabilitated criminals" and the typical american is driven into a furvor of fear and convinced that driving an unsafe huge vehicle makes us safer.

          We are complete and utter MORONS. I hang my head in disgust every day at what I see my fellow americans say and do.

          What makes you think that this nation of very stupid sheep that takes what is fed to them as 100% truth would have the guts and desire to rise up and force change??

          we are too comfortable with our 8mpg SUV's out 2500+sq foot houses and our 300 channel cable tv telling how scary it is outside and we should stay in where it is safe.

          The governemtn is protecting us, why should we question them?

          I'm going to go puke....
          • by TheSync (5291) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @11:51AM (#11766823) Journal
            Americans on average are the stupidest population center on this planet.

            The following countries have lower average IQs than that of the US (which is 98):

            Canada 97 Czech Republic 97 Finland 97 Spain 97 Argentina 96 Russia 96 Slovakia 96 Uruguay 96 Portugal 95 Slovenia 95 Israel 94 Romania 94 Bulgaria 93 Ireland 93 Greece 92 Malaysia 92 Thailand 91 Croatia 90 Peru 90 Turkey 90 Colombia 89 Indonesia 89 Suriname 89 Brazil 87 Iraq 87 Mexico 87 Samoa (Western) 87 Tonga 87 Lebanon 86 Philippines 86 Cuba 85 Morocco 85 Fiji 84 Iran 84 Marshall Islands 84 Puerto Rico 84 Egypt 83 India 81 Ecuador 80 Guatemala 79 Barbados 78 Nepal 78 Qatar 78 Zambia 77 Congo (Brazz) 73 Uganda 73 Jamaica 72 Kenya 72 South Africa 72 Sudan 72 Tanzania 72 Ghana 71 Nigeria 67 Guinea 66 Zimbabwe 66 Congo (Zaire) 65 Sierra Leone 64 Ethiopia 63 Equatorial Guinea 59

            You can also see from mathematics tests [bc.edu] that the US is not the stupidest population, but above the international average for mathematics achievement as well.

            Of course, the US may still be stupid, but it isn't like there are a lot of people less stupid outside of the US.

            Some European countries may have higher IQs and Math scores than the US, but they have real problems in understading basic economics ;)
    • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:59AM (#11764364)
      All I see posted are stupid remarks about how ironic this is... but nobody seems to want to do anything about it.
      Sorry man, I'm Canadian and this one is your problem. Trust me, it looks ten times as ironic from this side of the border. (waves) hi!
    • by Vo0k (760020) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:22AM (#11764451) Journal
      Already happened. Face it: We lost it already. No amount of calling will supersede a well placed "donation". No amount of cries will change the fact that the people at power will take really good care that ALL the presidential candidates sit deep in their pockets, and no matter who gets elected, power remains in the same hands. Democracy is dead, elections are just a meaningless circus for entertainment of the public, the real power is at hands of those with real money.
      • by dustmite (667870) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @07:59AM (#11765114)

        But (assuming the election weren't rigged), the American people voted this administration into power again. The American people chose for things like this to happen to them (all of these things have been crafted by the current administration, and I somehow doubt things would be going down the same, or half as badly, if the election had gone the other way - remember that none of these things are necessarily "inevitable", they're highly dependent on who is in power, there have been many similar 'low points' during the previous century and it is possible to come out of them if you're not so complacent that you just accept things as inevitable). I think most people are simply uninformed, and don't care that they're uninformed. Thus one must conclucde that the root cause of the problems here is that majority of the American public are not competent enough to choose their leaders properly.

      • No, no, this is the attitude they want you to have. Apathy. The basic strategy is simple: scare and discourage. Scare the people who don't think. Discourage the people who do. The more apathetic the thinking people get, the farther they can stretch the bucks they spend to lead the sheep to the slaughterhouse.

        At the very least, stand up and make them spend a little more money and work a little harder. Don't whine, find a way to stick a thumb in their eye when they're leading you to the gallows.

        The gre
      • Donations? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gr8_phk (621180)
        It's funny. Geeks will donate $300,000 to advertise thier web browser... But they can't organize a lobbying group to represent them in washington. Sure, the EFF tries to do good things, but mostly after there is a problem. The FSF only tries to stay afloat and stop GPL violators. Where is the free software political action in America? The money is there.
  • by astrashe (7452) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:33AM (#11764221) Journal
    At least they're being up front about this. They back the companies that are screwing us out of our privacy over the consumers every chance they get. That's what they stand for.

    As outrageous as this is, it's not nearly as bad as the prescription drug bill that prevents them from pushing the pharmaceutical companies for better prices.

    I hope the story is big enough to be spun by the talk radio crowd. I'd love to hear how they'd defend it.

  • by grozzie2 (698656) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:34AM (#11764226)
    I dont see why you folks are surprised, this is a very good fit. DOHS wants to gather up and categorize the data on every person in the USA. They have hired an expert in the field. It'll probably take a few months to get this new program rolling, but it's a pretty good bet, if you visit a .gov website in the near future, you are going to see the pop up asking you to accept installation of an activeX. That is, until they get microsoft to ship out the update telling all windows the world over that .gov websites are trusted, and dont bother pestering computer owners with warnings about such things on .gov sites.

    Mr freeman probably thinks he's arrived in heaven. he gets to keep on doing what he's best at, the spyware business, but this time it's for the government, so no more hassles from all those pathetic anti-spyware whiners.

  • by killjoe (766577) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:39AM (#11764256)
    They hired a deputy CIO who did not have a degree [computerworld.com]. More accurately she had a degree from on a non accredited diploma mill check it out [hamilton-university.edu] it looks like a church.

    Normally I'd have no problems with a deputy CIO not having a degree but apparently the dept of homeland security did not check out their deputy CIO carefully enough and now they had to "put her on leave".

    Now we find out they are putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

    Something is seriously askew at this dept. How can we trust these guys to safeguard our country when they have shown such awful judgement?
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:39AM (#11764259) Journal
    is the mandate of "Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee" is keeping this information from the public, not protecting the public's information.
  • by Frodo Crockett (861942) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @03:54AM (#11764337)
    From the DHS itself [dhs.gov]:

    Members appointed for the inaugural term of the DHS Privacy Advisory Committee are:

    Joseph Alhadeff, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer, Oracle Corporation, Washington, DC

    Ramon Barquin, President, Barquin International, Bethesda, MD

    J. Howard Beales, Associate Professor, The George Washington University, Arlington, VA

    D. Reed Freeman, Chief Privacy Officer and Vice President, Claria Corporation, Arlington, VA

    James W. Harper, Editor/Executive Director, Privacilla.org & Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute, Washington, DC

    Kirk Herath, Chief Privacy Officer & Associate General Counsel, Nationwide, Columbus, OH

    David A. Hoffman, Group Counsel and Director of Privacy, Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, OR

    Lance Hoffman, Distinguished Research Professor, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

    Tara Lemmey, Chief Executive Officer, Lens Ventures, San Francisco, CA

    Joseph Leo, Vice President, SAIC, Vienna, VA

    John Marsh, Distinguished Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law, Winchester, VA

    Joanne McNabb, Chief, Office of Privacy Protection, California Department of Consumer Affairs, Sacramento, CA

    Charles Palmer, Department Group Manager, Security, Networking & Privacy, IBM Corporation, Yorktown Heights, NY

    Richard Purcell, Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Privacy Group, Nordland, WA

    Paul Samuel Rosenzweig, Senior Legal Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC

    John Thomas Sabo, Manager, Security, Privacy, and Trust Initiatives, Computer Associates, Herndon, VA

    James Sheehan, General Counsel, Milton Hershey School, Hershey, PA

    Lisa Sotto, Partner, Head of Regulatory Privacy & Information Management Practice Group, Hunton & Williams, New York, NY

    Michael Turner, President and Senior Scholar, Information Policy Institute, New York, NY

    Samuel Wright, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Cendant Corporation, Washington, DC

    I can't say I like Freeman being on the committee, but a quick glance at the rest of the list makes me feel a lot better.

  • by aleatory_story (862072) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:01AM (#11764371)
    "...even though the original Gator software can be considered one of the original plague carriers of the spyware blight -- be careful about calling it that. The company has repeatedly threatened its critics with libel lawsuits for dubbing it "spyware.""

    Of course Gator isn't "spyware!!!" It is a perfectly fine way of business. Excuse me, I'm off to break into homes, hide, and pop up out of nowhere to sell viagra and insurance. Maybe I'll bug some phones for marketing information while I'm there.
  • I get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:10AM (#11764406) Homepage Journal
    I get it. It's like when a company hires a black hat to help them figure out where the holes are so they can plug them...
  • Do something? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Duke Boo Boo of Ouch (664991) <nat&stalkerdistro,com> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @04:23AM (#11764454)
    So, for those who would like to take the initiative to tell these fuckers something: Email: privacy@dhs.gov Phone: 202-772-9848 Fax: 202-772-5036 It might matter, it might not. But writing an email and picking up the phone is easy as hell. I'll take both, thank you.
  • This makes sense. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by njfuzzy (734116) <ianNO@SPAMian-x.com> on Thursday February 24, 2005 @08:45AM (#11765274) Homepage
    Looked at the right way, this makes a strange kind of sense.

    For instance... People with Philosophy degrees are often hired as "Ethicists" for corporations. Their job is to interpret ethics for the company. In some cases, this means keeping the company on the right side of the line. However, for some companies, it simply means finding ways to justify what the company wants to do to begin with. Guidance, or spin.

    So, take a look at the Department of Homeland Security. Do you think this is the kind of honest-natured ministry that wants to make sure it does the right thing regarding our privacy? Or the kind of Orwellian agency that wants to have a way to say it respects privacy, and does whatever it wants?

    Guidance, or spin?

    This guy is there to help teach the feds how to lie to us about how much our privacy is respected in this country. All of the sudden, it makes sense.

  • by SpacePunk (17960) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @09:38AM (#11765553) Homepage
    Here is what I sent mine...

    Dear Congressman Pearce;

    I came across the article at http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2005/02/23/ gator/index.html?source=RSS on how D. Reed Freeman, the "Chief Privacy Officer" of Claria Networks (formerly Gator), the creators of the pervasive spyware package GAIN, has been appointed to the Department of Homeland Security's "Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee".

    I find this of extreme concern for the security of the citizens of our country. It is also a concern that the 'privacy officer' for the DHS is a former minion of Doubleclick which is also a spyware company. This is like appointing David Duke to a committee on minority rights, Mike Tyson appointed to a committee on womans right, Michael Jackson appointed to a committee on childrens rights, or the proverbial fox being in charge of the henhouse. Can we now expect DHS to craft sofware that installs itself on our machines without or knowledge? Can we expect our data privacy to be safe from unlawfull government search? This is a real and present concern. The last thing the citizenry needs is for people with a known track record of being involved in privacy violations to be in such positions. The very fact that these people are where they are now within the DHS points to the process being broken, and perhaps it can also be said that the DHS has been infiltrated by persons without the citizens best interests in mind. In advance, your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

  • by waynegoode (758645) * on Thursday February 24, 2005 @11:14AM (#11766370) Homepage
    Complain to DHS about this travesty. Here [dhs.gov] is the web page that lists operator phone number, comment line phone number, address and has a web form to contact them. The email subject options don't list complaints/concerns. Maybe this fits the "Security Threat" option. The security of my privacy is being threatened.

    If all the Slashdot readers called or filled out a form, we might make a difference. Even if nothing changes, at least DHS will know people are aware of this ridiculous act.

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