White House on Cookies: Doh! 

White House on Cookies: Doh! 
Posted by FoM on June 27, 2000 at 09:55:49 PT
Wired News Report 
Source: Wired News
 After being chastised by watchdog groups, the White House has issued an order to all Federal departments and agencies: no more cookies. The White House was embarrassed last week by the revelation that it used cookies -- bits of computer code that track and record users' movements across websites -- on some of its websites, violating its own privacy policies and possibly violating federal privacy laws. 
See Also: 'Cookiegate' Alarms Watchdogs,1283,37173,00.htmlA DoubleClick Smokescreen?,1367,36404,00.html"Because of the unique laws and traditions about government access to citizen's personal information, the presumption should be that 'cookies' will not be used at Federal websites," wrote Jacob Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget in a memorandum sent late last week to the heads of all federal departments and agencies. The memorandum forbids the use of cookies unless a number of strict conditions are met, including approval by the agency head and the notification of users that cookies will be deployed. The directive closely followed the revelation last week that cookies placed by ad-tracking firm DoubleClick were being used on the website for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Privacy watchdogs charged that the undisclosed use of cookies both violated White House privacy policy and possibly the Privacy Act of 1974. Critics pointed out that by working with DoubleClick to monitor cookied surfers, the government could potentially track down individuals referred to its drug website by search queries like "how to grow pot." "Monitoring citizens' use of government websites raises profound privacy and constitutional concerns," said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which, along with Junkbusters president Jason Catlett, sent a brief letter to Congress, urging it to investigate the Clinton administration's use of cookies. Tauzin, chairman of a key House Commerce subcommittee, subsequently sent a pointed letter to the White House. "I am deeply troubled by the breadth, scope, and advanced state of this undertaking. A project with links and tracking to proprietary websites and businesses has vast privacy implications with which Congress should be consulted. Also of concern is the methods and standards the ONDCP is using to secure personally identifiable information," Tauzin wrote. Privacy advocates were pleased by the government's quick reaction to the public criticism, but wondered whether a simple memorandum will be sufficient to effect true change. "First they denied that they were using cookies at all. Now they've changed their policy, but it remains to be seen whether they'll effectively enforce it," said Sarah Andrews, a policy analyst for the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The irony of the government cookie flap, Andrews said, is that it came just as the federal government was reiterating its belief that private industry can be trusted to police and regulate its own privacy policies without government intervention.,1283,37145,00.html"The private industry is in no way responsible about privacy protection, and now the government has shown that not even it can be responsible," Andrews said. Direct Link To Article:,1283,37233,00.htmlWeb Posted: June 26, 2000Copyright  2000 Wired Digital Inc., Related Articles:Anti-Drug Web Site Tracks Visitors House Drug Office Tracks Computer Visitors 
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Comment #3 posted by observer on June 27, 2000 at 17:34:40 PT
First they denied ...
How many of you actually believe the government will stop monitoring internet use?I do. When someone from the govenment makes a promise, that's as good as money in the bank. Just like the US government only uses your Social Security Number for tracking earnings for Social Security benefits: they made a promise, and they kept it.'s another promise that you can sure count on. do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I willsupport and defend the Constitution of theUnited States against all enemies, foreignand domestic; that I will bear true faithand allegiance to the same; that I take thisobligation freely, without any mentalreservation or purpose of evasion; andthat I will well and faithfully dischargethe duties of the office on which I amabout to enter: So help me God. -- Oath of Office, U.S. Congress Good as gold. Yessiree.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on June 27, 2000 at 13:24:52 PT:
Four tentacles of a very big octopus
The Anti-Meth Bill: Endangers Free Speech by threatening arrest of those transmitting knowledge of illicit drugs.Cookies: A means of tracking your travels across cyberworld to find those information sites... and your own location to boot. (That's how they found the stupid kid who made idle threats against the kids at Columbine HS; he thought he was safely annonymous in a chat room, and what happens? The Fat Boys Institute pay him a visit. Goodbye, future.) The Bankruptcy Bill: Designed to permit surreptitious entry into your home to copy your data and conduct searches of your property without advance warning.ECHELON: A vast network of data interception nodes that literally span this planet, which can intercept any data transmissions anywhere, any time, for eventual decoding using advanced Cray design computers. And monitors clear speech for worsd deemed to be indicative of nefarious intent.Folks, the machinery for overt national enslavement ALREADY EXISTS. All the goons are waiting for is the signal to use it. The passage of the Anti-Meth and Bankruptcy Bills into law will be that signal. Unless it is stopped.
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Comment #1 posted by CD1 on June 27, 2000 at 12:12:49 PT
How many of you actually believe the government will stop monitoring internet use?
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