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Seeking the advice and input of ATS members on an important issue...

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posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
Sorry, I love you guys to death, but the truth is the truth

I never said there weren't problems that have been identified... only that my PC has yet to be effected.



The government is required to get a warrant to track me, why should it be any less for an advertising company?

Because the ad networks are not tracking you. The identifier in the cookie is a randomly assigned number to an anonymous profile... they have no idea who you are.

If you used a credit card at any retail store... so much more of your specifically-identified personal information (including purchase history) has been sold to a growing list of parties without your knowledge or consent.




posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by nightmarehalo
reply to I think it would be a good idea to present the misconceptions of cookies on the petition website.

It's already there...

keepourwebfree.org/cookies.html


If you use anti-virus or other anti-malware scanning software on your computer, it has been telling you lies. Each time the software alerts you to an "intrusion" related to cookies from website, it is deceiving you in an apparent effort to ensure you keep using the software.

Cookies, or more specifically tracking cookies written by web sites, are not inherently malicious and a fundamental web technology. First introduced in pre-release versions of Netscape in 1994, they are small text files stored on your computer, and are only visible to the web sites that created them. They are not viruses. They are not malware. They do not slow down your computer.





posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:55 PM
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I'm not wading through this whole thread, I get the gist of it. Censorship or regulation is a bitch, eh? Maybe cut off my nose to spite myself, but stop being so oppressive to posters lest you end up as a "offensive" or "unacceptable'" to the powers that be. Just think about it. Duality?



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Because the ad networks are not tracking you. The identifier in the cookie is a randomly assigned number to an anonymous profile... they have no idea who you are.

But they track my machine, if they did not track it then they would not be able to target the marketing specifically for me. Right?


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
If you used a credit card at any retail store... so much more of your specifically-identified personal information (including purchase history) has been sold to a growing list of parties without your knowledge or consent.

I think that the biggest difference, at least in my mind is that they physically place something on my hardware that slows down, and interferes with my computer. Be it 50K cookies from different advertisers, spyware, or viruses.

In your example above, it would be like a store employee going out and putting a governor on your cars engine while you were inside using your credit card. Get what I mean?

And yes I do know that they track credit card and other purchases, but that is part of the reason I belong to groups like www.spychips.com, because I do not want to patronize companies who do customer tracking.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
But they track my machine, if they did not track it then they would not be able to target the marketing specifically for me. Right?

To some degree... but not as extensive as you might think.

As an example, let's use the ad network "ValueClick." When you hit a website with their ads, and you don't have a cookie, they will assign a random ID and place that in a new cookie. If the cookie already exists, they typically do nothing. That ID corresponds to an entry in their database that defines what your browser does.

When you hit other websites, ValueClick has no idea what sites you visited unless they're serving ads on those sites. If they have an ad on ATS but no ads on CNN.com, they have no idea you ever went to CNN.

The ad networks can only keep track of the sites you visit if they're also serving ads on those sites. So it's not the complete tracking many people think.





I think that the biggest difference, at least in my mind is that they physically place something on my hardware that slows down, and interferes with my computer.

Actually, another misconception thanks to anti-virus misinformation.

The presence of cookies does not slow down your computer. My primary machine has thousands of cookies as I've never deleted any... no problems.

However... poorly designed websites (some discussion boards fit in this category) can attempt to place far too much information into a cookie as a result of lazy programming. These would typically be for remembering your profile and preference settings. Those very-large cookies can "appear" to slow things down as they're typically loaded on each page-load of those poorly coded sites. This may be where the perception that cookies can slow down your computer originated.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:42 PM
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I've been following ATS for some time. I'm of roman catholic upbringing, and am deeply religious and have a high respect for all of mankind like some of many kind people on ATS.



Seeking the advice and input of ATS members on an important issue...
'The free and independent Internet is at risk,'


SkepticOverlord, are you a skeptic? I've been becoming increasingly skeptical of people who claim to be skeptical or religious right now. It makes my heart weep.

'fighting for freedom of speech' - and condemning it ourselves.

I have found my faith in God, and it is so painful to see brothers attacking atheists on this site.

Our divine duty is to help them love, not be ignorant of them and our own morality to hate back with the dexterity of their own.

Matching their ignorance and hate makes us none better than them, worse - because we have and are supposed to understand the teachings of Jesus.

I propose that ATS is not a place for free speech at all and ATS should be honest about that , before ATS begins campaigning for 'freedom of speech on the internet' - please note, you must practice what your preach.

Christianity and Free speech is about turning the other cheek and showing your superior morality, not matching others amorality or exercising superiority. People confuse superiority with faith.

If you can't do that God will avenge you. It's our book - why can't someone tell the atheists they are wrong with respect, they deserve it from any Christian? Don't agree?

Then PLEASE, read the bible. The problem isn't our teaching , it is us folks. The bible talks about it over and over again, so does Jesus, yet, we repeat those mistakes and pretend everything is fine.



Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us - God will avenge us.


God will avenge injustice, don't contribute to it.

Hoping I am not going to get banned for giving a non ignorant and honest opinion to your honest question MR. Overlord (*cowers*).

I truly believe some warnings can only come from the heart and the divinity of God, that is the source and if we ignore them we condemn ourselves by condemning the word of God and Jesus Christ.

- No Calling to Arms, the calling to sanity!!

Peave & Love

UA



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 12:15 AM
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Ahhh…. Ok…


Anyway…

The debate really comes down to a simple argument in my mind, it goes like this:
D5: Hey you took a bit out of my sandwich.
SO: But it was only a small bite, it won’t hurt anything.
D5: But its still MY sandwich…

To be honest, the cookies are really not that big of a deal in my book, though they do take up hard drive space, and pop up in my spyware checking scans. I accept that certain sites such as ATS will use cookies, and I agree with that by patronizing your site. It’s the stuff that goes on stealthy that annoys me. Stuff that I do not ask for, or agree to patronize, and usually stuff that I will never use, or have any interest in.

However, that said, the biggest factor IMHO, is the spyware, adware, and viruses. Most of which come from advertising companies, through online ads to provide targeted marketing. The whole point and purpose of adware and spyware is marketing, so its safe to say that 100% of that stuff would be eliminated if laws are put in place to regulate what they can and cannot place on your machine. There are regulations in almost every other field providing oversight and setting limits. Its about time that the same is done for what advertisers can do.

Perhaps the reason that you do not see spyware hits as much as me is the times that you are online, as opposed to me who is mostly on late at night. I think that you explained before, that at night the advertisers switches over to some third party company who has more questionable clients. But lets be honest, even if you are not seeing the virus pop-ups on here from time to time, they do happen, and they come from the Ads, not ATS itself. I understand that you guys cannot police what shows up in the ad banners, but maybe its time the government starts to.

As to the spyware/adware checkers. I would like to know which you are using, because I use several, and they all show cookies as a separate low harm threat, not as adware, spyware, or viruses.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 12:23 AM
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Well, I'll certainly contact my representatives in Congress on this one.

Why is it that we have to fight our government at every turn? We need to send a message that we're adults out here, we don't need a self-appointed Nanny-State to shield us from all the terrible things on the Internet.

I'd rather take my chances with spyware and cookies and what-not than to have the "gubbmint" come in and screw the Internet up for the entire world.

— Doc Velocity







[edit on 12/2/2009 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by nightmarehalo
reply to I think it would be a good idea to present the misconceptions of cookies on the petition website.

It's already there...



Ha. I thought the "cookies" link was going to install cookies on my computer without my permission and then ask me if I would like to install some more so I didn't click it yet.

I believe the cookies section is a very important piece of information and should be mentioned on the home page in the main article, preferably before you mention that the legislation targets advertisement companies.

EDIT: Looks like I can't sign it because I keep getting a 500 error. I filled out the form regarding the error.

EDIT 2: OK. Now it works. #268

[edit on 12/2/2009 by nightmarehalo]

[edit on 12/2/2009 by nightmarehalo]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:08 AM
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I signed it, but do not see where it will do any good. Normally, petitions are ignored, and you cannot get anywhere with the 'representatives' unless you have lobbying money or have something on them.

All the legislation will do is force every web site to have a gateway page where you can either accept what the site does and continue to it, or decline what the site does and not be allowed to continue to it. But, nothing good has ever come out of Washington, and there is always the law of unintended consequences to look at which is always a guessing game until it bites you in the butt.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:13 AM
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It’s the stuff that goes on stealthy that annoys me. Stuff that I do not ask for, or agree to patronize, and usually stuff that I will never use, or have any interest in.

The problem lies in the evolution of the web.

Early on, around 1995, nearly all the people using web browsers were early-adopter geeks, techies, and academia. These people understood the technology and accepted the notion of cookies (even though hard drives of the day were tiny compared to today's cavernous drives) being written to the computers as a necessary aspect of the browser technology.

As the web evolved into the next greatest medium for all things, that "value proposition" of a necessary aspect of accessing the web was lost, and the uninformed late-adopters misunderstood the intent, need, and operation for the cookie technology. With uncertainty comes those who will take advantage of it for financial gain, and the anti-badware companies convinced many that cookies are inherently bad.





However, that said, the biggest factor IMHO, is the spyware, adware, and viruses. Most of which come from advertising companies, through online ads to provide targeted marketing.

While there have been cases of malicious payloads associated with ads, it's still not the dominant delivery method... actually far from it.

Email, "click here" fraud, and torrent downloads comprise at least 90% of all methods by which otherwise protected computers become infected. It's rather common to unknowingly receive a malicious payload by means other than a web page or banner ad, then not actually experience the effects of the malware until you surf the web... which very often is your favorite site first (ATS?)... making it appear as though that site was the culprit.

However, malicious code has come from compromised ad servers as well as intentionally malicious ads... but is still rare in the entire scheme of infection methods. In all cases, these malicious payloads come as a result of "ad network daisy-chaining," which is when a network hands off your impression to another ad network... and that second network may eventually hand it off again. As we progress down the link of ad networks in the daisy-chain, we encounter the lower-tier of networks which will not have the same level of quality control as the much-more reputable first network in the chain... and there is opportunity for the unscrupulous to take advantage of that. (Another side effect of the daisy-chain is a cascade of cookies from multiple ad networks.)

The network daisy-chain is also the primary area of concern over potential data sharing between the ad networks... and responsible for the majority of negative reaction from "privacy experts."

My compromise proposal presented as an alternative to Boucher's draconian cookie rules either eliminates daisy-chaining, or establishes procedural rules to eliminate the problems. If we stop or control the daisy-chain, both the malware and privacy issues all but disappear. So far, the Internet Advertising Bureau is behind my concept, and others seem to be showing great interest.





The whole point and purpose of adware and spyware is marketing,

I disagree with that to some extent. The point is financial gain through the control of vast arrays of infected systems. Marketing may be part of it, but it's not the impetus.




Perhaps the reason that you do not see spyware hits as much as me is the times that you are online, as opposed to me who is mostly on late at night.

Few people are online as much as me.


I'm convinced the reason I don't get the malware is because I'm not using email or downloading software.




I would like to know which you are using, because I use several, and they all show cookies as a separate low harm threat, not as adware, spyware, or viruses.

My updated version of Norton that came with the PC (what most consumers stick with), classifies cookies as a "potential security threat" when I turn on proactive scanning.

But even the "low harm threat" is an exaggeration. There is no harm. Cookies are text files, and take up far less of your hard drive than the typical invisible temp files generated by using something like Word or Excel.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


Have faith, Believe,Trust, Sign it, SIGN IT, DO IT NOW !!!



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by nightmarehalo
 



I thought the "cookies" link was going to install cookies on my computer without my permission and then ask me if I would like to install some more so I didn't click it yet.


without "cookies" you'd have to sign in to ATS, BTS, and ATS Media every single time you closed your browser and reopened it.

Ebay, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google Mail, etc...all of those would never "remember you" or your preferences.



There are many things cookies do that further advance the use and application of the internet.

A select few virus scanners and anti-spyware programs will say cookies are "viruses"

My brother recently fell for this ploy, called me up and said he had over 2000 viruses on his computer, so he paid for (and got duped) the virus scanner that he had downloaded a free version of.

I showed him a little bit later how those cookies magically disappear with an option in internet explorer, and then i showed him how un-malicious cookies really are. He still paid a good chunk of change for a 3 year subscription...proving once again that people are, for the most part, clueless and will listen to authority despite logic and common sense opposing.



So as you have just seen, cookies on your computer are not a bad thing... it’s just that the information that they contain can be quite enticing to bad people.


What this politician is lobbying to do is no different than banning all fire arms or "violent" video games simply because a few idiots somewhere went on a rampage "DOOM STYLE" and shot up a school.

Banning fire arms and video games won't stop violence at all. In fact, it will do zero good, and cause a lot of harm.

The bill proposed by this politician will do the same thing. It will destroy small online business (Like ATS) and severely cripple the internet...and what good can possibly come from that?


[edit on 2-12-2009 by Snarf]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:24 AM
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well i think i did right i signed i

[edit on 12/2/2009 by dashar]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:44 PM
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I have signed the petitions as well as emailed congress about this. This is an outrage. The one thing that still has free reign in our country and now they want to take THAT away too. I can't wait for the day that congress crashes and burns under their own arrogance.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 12:31 AM
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Is it just me or are there some new ads on ATS? They're looking good!



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:03 AM
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How much weight does this petition have ?

How can anybody tell that any of the signatures are genuine ?

What information in the petition (names pf signatories) will be available to third parties ?



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The network daisy-chain is also the primary area of concern over potential data sharing between the ad networks... and responsible for the majority of negative reaction from "privacy experts."

My compromise proposal presented as an alternative to Boucher's draconian cookie rules either eliminates daisy-chaining, or establishes procedural rules to eliminate the problems. If we stop or control the daisy-chain, both the malware and privacy issues all but disappear. So far, the Internet Advertising Bureau is behind my concept, and others seem to be showing great interest.

Well if some form of legislation is in the works to limit some of the fraudulent practices that go on, that is all I needed to hear. It’s nice that you guys are actually going to get a say in how its written, I am sure that will be a better solution then. Thank you for addressing my concerns about this.



[edit on 12/3/2009 by defcon5]



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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I've signed the petition and written to congressman Boucher about it. thanks for bringing this to my attention. Together, we do make a difference. ATS rox!



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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Well it seems that atleast my Congressman has the belief that "net neutrality" will do more to harm the internet and many websites than it will do any good. Hopefully this means that there will be 1 vote against this bill.

subject matter from an email replying due to signing and emailing the petition to my congressman




Dear Mark:
Thank you for contacting me to express your opinion regarding "net neutrality." I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this matter.

As you may be aware, Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced H.R. 3458 on July 31, 2009 to regulate internet service providers and prevent them from prioritizing the traffic to some Websites over others - sometimes referred to as "net neutrality." Freedom has been the hallmark of the Internet since its inception, and I believe this so called "net neutrality" threatens to destroy the very principles that have made the Internet so successful.

The Internet has benefited greatly from the absence of regulatory restrictions. Beginning to implement restrictions now would have a detrimental impact. Americans are used to comparison shopping. From the cars we drive to the clothes we wear, consumers are accustomed to having the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and finding a product that best suits them. As we all know, healthy competition will continue to foster new services at affordable prices.

Unfortunately, net neutrality would ultimately limit competition by instituting federal regulations on how internet providers choose to supply their services. This legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for further review and consideration. Although I do not serve on this committee, rest assured that I will keep your views and thoughts in mind when the legislation is considered by the House of Representatives.

Again, I want to thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance on this matter or if you would like additional information on this topic or other issues facing Congress, please visit my Website at crenshaw.house.gov....


Sincerely,
Ander Crenshaw
Member of Congress


[edit on 3/12/2009 by Pappa_Bear]



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