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Dozens of federal agencies track Web visitors illegally

Dozens of federal agencies track Web visitors illegally
Dozens of federal agencies track Web visitors illegally




http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-6018702.html 

Government Web sites follow visitors' movements
January 5, 2006, 4:00 AM PST

Dozens of federal agencies are tracking visits to U.S. government Web 
sites in violation of long-standing rules designed to protect online 
privacy, a CNET News.com investigation shows.

 From the Air Force to the Treasury Department, government agencies are 
using either "Web bugs" or permanent cookies to monitor their visitors' 
behavior, even though federal law restricts the practice.
Chart: Federal Web tracking

Some departments changed their practices this week after being contacted 
by CNET News.com. The Pentagon said it wasn't aware that its popular 
Defenselink.mil portal tracked visitors--in violation of a privacy 
notice--and said it would fix the problem. So did the Defense Threat 
Reduction Agency and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation 
Board.

"We were not aware of the cookies set to expire in 2016," a Pentagon 
representative said Wednesday. "All of the cookies we had set with 
WebTrends were to be strictly (temporary) cookies, and we are taking 
immediate action." WebTrends is a commercial Web-monitoring service.

[...remainder snipped...]

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Some examples:

Agency Name	         Cookie Type     Expires Hostname
---------------------------------------------------------
Air Force                Webtrends.com   2016    af.mil
Commerce Department      Statcounter.com 2011    ogc.doc.gov
Defense Department       Webtrends.com   2016    defenselink.mil
Election Assist. Comm.   Own             2007    eac.gov
Energy Department	 Statcounter.com 2011 www.er.doe.gov 
General Services Admin.  Own             2035    apps.fss.gsa.gov
Office of Personnel Mgmt Own             2037    leadership.opm.gov
Treasury Department      Own             2035    ots.treas.gov

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