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Feds May Soon Be Allowed To Use Cookies 181

fast66 writes "The White House may lift its policy barring federal Web sites from tracking users' online behavior. In place since 2000, the cookie policy issued by the Office of Management and Budget was intended to protect citizen privacy but has sparked criticism — even from White House officials — for hampering citizen outreach. On Friday, Bev Godwin, the director of online resources and interagency development at the White House's new media office, blogged on the White House Web site, 'We want to use cookies for good, not evil' — and invited the public to comment on cookies through various online channels, including the Office of Science and Technology Policy blog."

FCC Pitches Free, Bowdlerized Wireless Internet Access 298

Aidtopia writes "FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is proposing auctioning off an unused part of the 25 MHz spectrum on the condition that the winner provide free wireless Internet access. The proposal sets coverage targets that ramp up to 95% of the population within 10 years. The catch: the provider must filter out obscene content." I wonder what definition of "obscene" the FCC would like to use.

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.

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"The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty. You might want to mug someone with it." -- M. Devine, Computer Science 340