The New York Times tried to block British subscribers from reading online articles about the airline terror suspects due to British court laws. It won’t work because there’s waaaaay too many aggregators blogging on about this stuff. Plus, of course, The Cloak can hide your identity and therefore give you anonymous access – they have anonymous proxy, encryption and keep the cookies at their site.

The Cloak’s WHY? page has some intriguing tidbits – they let the news snippets speak for themselves. Here’s a selection:

The leading Web advertising company [DoubleClick.com] plans to build a database of consumer profiles that will include each user’s “name, address, retail, catalog and online purchase histories, and demographic data.” Until recently, DoubleClick’s policy was to not correlate personal information with its 100,000 million cookies, which are scattered worldwide. But the new database will rely on the cookies, which the company places on Net users’ computers to record surfing habits and display pertinent advertising. CNET, 26 Jan 2000

Six months ago in Turkey … a teenager received a suspended jail sentence for making comments critical of police in an online forum…In Canada… the government is considering extending national restrictions on hate speech to the Internet. [T]he European Union is examining proposals that would require Internet service providers to block “harmful speech”… Wired, 15 April 1999

Nothing uptodate. I would’ve included stories like the school children in BIG trouble (read: courts, not suspension) for rubbishing a teacher – last I heard, they were thinking of changing the laws in Singapore about kids being allowed to blog.

Cloak seem legit. to me – no advertising, no trojans installed or anything. Nice and clean. But imagine a *big* company – Google for example – offerering this service. No longer only for dodgy porn, methinks. Do you think the youth of today would pick up on it, or is privacy no longer an issue? Do Gen. Y ignore the fact that their information is readily available and simply accept the convenience of being target-marketed ? Will we need/is there a similar service for mobile phones – especially as Location Based Services get pushed on us? How much do you care?

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