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ANAHITA  March 2000

ANAHITA March 2000

Subject:

Re: cookies

From:

Peter Riedlberger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Peter Riedlberger <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 20 Mar 2000 22:18:14 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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> I am also sad to Anahita go.  I will not be following Anahita to onelist
> due to onelist's requirement that cookies be allowed.  The free exchange of
> ideas and information should not require that I submit to collection of
> information about me, or the cluttering of my system with data that allows
> someone to recognize me by anything other that my email address.  I guess
> I'm especially sad to see the list leave the academic realm.

In order to end fears about cookies it is necessary to understand
exactly what they do.

Whenever your browser requests an URL, this is treated as one single
action, not as a continuum. Therefore with the original HTTP
specification you could hardly create needful things like shopping
carts etc.

This is why cookies were invented. Each cookie contains the "domain"
(e.g. riedlberger.de) and the "path" (/users). So if this domain sent
you a cookie, ONLY ONLY ONLY this domain could read it later! This is
very important to realize. Cookies only go back from where you got
them.

Cookies cannot steal information from your hard disc. They only allow
ONE specific website to remember that you went there before.

Now, regarding privacy, there are very few dangerous issues:

1)Someone who gets physical (!!!) access to your hard disc could find
the cookie domains, even those you do not want to be viewed (e.g.
veryverypervertedporn.com)

2) doubleclick: The doubleclick network has banner ads on many pages.
The images always come from the doubleclick server. So if you visit
the Internet Movie Data Base and some other sites on movies, they will
probably display commercials on cinema since they know that you're
interested in. I personally do not feel uncomfortable about it but I
can understand if people dislike it. But doubleclick is an exception.
Here, different sites can be brought together since they always send
the cookie via doubleclick. Normally there is no espionage via
cookies. (Perhaps some of you have read that doubleclick tried to sell
information but this was stopped because of protests).

Cookies are uttlery innocent, contrary to many other internet
features. (E. g., contrary to popular opinion you CAN get your hard
disc drive erased just be READING an e-mail without executing anything
- if you use Outlook and use Explorer for displaying HTML-E-mails and
if you get some wicked Active-X-e-mail and if you turned off "asking
before starting Active-X" ---> :(((((((((((((

Dangerous are Active-X (worst of all), JavaScript and Java. If you're
interested in those issues, read www.w3.org/Security/Faq and
www.nat.bg/~joro .

One thing's for sure: Cookies should not make you leaving Anahita!

Peter

Peter Riedlberger
Gabelsbergerstr. 32
80333 München
Germany

Phone: 089-52314470
Fax: 089-52314475
Mobile: 0179-2237005

WWW: http://www.Riedlberger.de
e-Mail: [log in to unmask]

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Anahita's archives: http://lsv.uky.edu/archives/anahita.html

Diotima's address: http://www.uky.edu/AS/Classics/gender.html

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