Cut Out the Cookie, DOE

After initial denials, the Department of Energy has admitted that it illegally placed "cookies" on the home computers of activists who visited the DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Lab (INEEL) website. "This is another example of a well-established pattern of dirty tricks coming from INEEL," said Tom Patricelli of the watchdog group Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free. "Why on Earth would INEEL want to build secret files on the public!" Some of the cookies were temporary but others were designed to remain in the visitors' computers forever. Cookies can be used to track visitors' searches within the site and to monitor visits to other sites. It is against US law to use cookies to secretly spy on computer users. INEEL claims it "forgot to turn off that feature."

© Earth Island Journal, Summer 2001

 

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