p2p news / p2pnet:- Net users have something new to worry about.
People “hoping to protect their privacy by using anti-virus software, Web anonymizers, false identities and disabled cookies” may be unraveled by technology flowing from a patent filed by the National Security Agency (NSA) which will “identify the physical location of any Web surfer,” says WorldNetDaily, quoting CNET News.
“Patent 6,947,978, granted this week, describes a process based on latency, or time lag between computers exchanging data, of ‘numerous’ known locations on the Internet to build a ‘network latency topology map’ for all users,” it states.
“Identifying the physical location of an individual user … could then be accomplished by measuring how long it takes to connect to an unknown computer from numerous known machines, and using the latency response to display location on a map."
The NSA patent doesn’t describe the NSA’s intended use of the technology, “noting only general uses like measuring the ‘effectiveness of advertising across geographic regions’ or flagging a password that ‘could be noted or disabled if not used from or near the appropriate location’," but, “given NSA’s status as the nation’s premier cryptologic organization, it’s unlikely the technology will be used to improve advertising,” says CNET, adding:
“The agency has come under fire in the past for spying on American citizens. In the 1970s, the agency was forced to admit that it had used its eavesdropping equipment against Jane Fonda and other anti-Vietnam War activists. The revelation led to a 1978 law banning spying by the agency on U.S. citizens and resident aliens anywhere.”
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WorldNetDaily – National Security Agency gets fix on Internet users, September 25, 2005