Latest developments in the privacy wars

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) revealed this week that New Hampshire-based Image Data has a $1.5 million contract with the US Secret Service to create a national database of drivers' license photographs. So far, the governments of Florida, Colorado, and South Carolina have protested the plan, which, though long denied by federal and company sources, was revealed to have been signed by both parties in late 1997.

Users who want to use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) but can't get around the US export restrictions on that encryption package flocked to the new GPG (GNU Privacy Guard), which does the same thing without patented algorithms. It was also developed outside the US, meaning that US crypto laws don't apply—until you load it on your computer, after which you're not allowed to export it again.

The Internet Content Summit opened on September 9 in Munich with the goal of establishing international standards for content ratings. Free speech advocates from 19 civil liberties groups protested the effort, which they believe is likely to be used as a tool of government censorship.

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Global Internet Liberty Campaign

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