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Privacy

US Senate Votes Immunity For Telecoms 623

Ktistec Machine writes to let us know that the telecom companies are one step closer to getting off the hook for their illegal collusion with the US government. Today the US Senate passed, by a filibuster-proof majority of 67 to 31, a revised FISA bill that grants retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies that helped the government illegally tap American network traffic. If passed by both houses and signed by the President, this would effectively put an end to the many lawsuits against these companies (about 40 have been filed). The House version of the bill does not presently contain an immunity provision. President Bush has said he will veto any such bill that reaches his desk without the grant of immunity. We've discussed the progress of the immunity provision repeatedly.
Privacy

Pay-For-Visit Advertising 176

theodp writes "US patent office documents released Thursday show that a startup named Pelago is seeking a patent covering Pay-For-Visit Advertising, which uses GPS, Bluetooth, or RFID on your mobile devices to track your travels to see if you wander into a place of business that appeared in an ad shown earlier on your cellphone, PDA, or laptop. To maximize ad revenue, phone calls are also tracked to see if you dial a number associated with an ad, and financial transactions are examined to see if you make a purchase from an advertiser. The application goes on to note that the system may be of interest to government agencies. Pelago just raised $7.4M from the likes of KPCB and Jeff Bezos."
The Almighty Buck

Get Ready For the High-tech Beach 247

coondoggie writes "Ocean City, New Jersey is a nice, family-oriented beach that will apparently soon be the high-tech model for seashore lovers and now perhaps geeks everywhere. The city has on its plate a $3 million plan for myriad public services and Internet access using radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) and Wi-Fi wireless technology. A wireless network will let Ocean City expand economic development and control the cost of local services. Wireless allows the City to save on cell phone usage, T-1 lines, and it adds efficiency. The city is looking to replace its ubiquitous but mostly annoying beach tags — which indicate you paid to get on the beach $5 per day, $10 for a week, or $20 for the whole summer — with wristbands that contain an RFID chip. Yet another cool feature of the high-tech beach will be the ability to track beachgoers — an application that is being touted by parents."
Privacy

Some States Say National ID Cards 'Make Life Easier' 287

VE3OGG writes "Some places, like Maine, have outright rejected the idea of a nationally mandated ID card amid privacy, legal and security concerns. On the other side of the fence some states, such as California and New Jersey, have said that they welcome the National ID card and that it will make 'life easier'. One New Jersey official said 'All you are getting in e-government for the most part are things that don't require strong two-factor identification,' the official said referring to security that requires something beyond a user name and password. 'But as we move forward and start to deliver more and more complicated services, I think that people for the most part will want to know their government has implemented strong measures [with National ID cards]'."

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