theodp writes "Ever get the feeling your Usenet newsgroup list is being watched? By Microsoft? If so, consider yourself right. An interesting but troubling CNET interview with Microsoft's in-house sociologist goes into how the software giant is keeping a close eye on newsgroups and other public e-mail lists, tracking and rating contributors' social habits and determining "people who the system has shown to have value." Those concerned that it's not a good idea for computers to track their belongings and whereabouts are advised that they may ultimately have to fragment their identities, keeping multiple IDs and e-mail addresses."