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Feds May Soon Be Allowed To Use Cookies

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the it-looks-like-you're-building-a-bomb dept.

Government 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."

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181 comments

No problem (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874251)

If you don't like cookies, block them. For those that don't even understand what a cookie is, make it clear what the government is doing and prove it through open source. Makes for a better web experience.

What's the problem with that?

Re:No problem (5, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874561)

If you don't like cookies, block them... What's the problem with that?

I block cookies, javascript and all plugins (with the exception of my whitelist). The problem is that more and more sites annoyingly (and uselessly) require these to work. I'm fine not having a draggable map, but ever since GoogleMaps, every map site has become reliant on Javascript. Half the random sites bitch if I have cookies off. Etc.

Much like the "works best in [Browser X]" these annoying additions are being used in the place of, not as a suppliment to, standard webfare.

Re:No problem (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874809)

If you choose to live in a cave, you can't bitch about not having electricity.

(not trolling just being blunt)

Re:No problem (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874939)

He's not complaining about not having electricity. He's complaining about being forbidden from whacking sabertooths on the head unless he's using a newfangled club that shouts "I AM A CLUB!" while you wave it in the air and it shoots out orange and yellow flames.

If he were asking for the Google Maps website to send him directions via telegraph, then he would be complaining about electricity.

This post brought to you by the Mixed Metaphor Society: Keeping the Home Fires on Track since 1962.

Re:No problem (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875103)

unless he's using a newfangled club that shouts "I AM A CLUB!" while you wave it in the air and it shoots out orange and yellow flames.

I wonder if Think Geek sells those? WANT.

Re:No problem (4, Insightful)

C-Dilla (961168) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875475)

Oh I don't know, he's free to pick up a good old fashioned stick and do whatever he wants with it. He just can't complain if his leg gets bitten off by the sabertooth while his buddies are munching on tasty sabertooth kebabs thanks to their newfangled flame-shooting clubs.

Re:No problem (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876351)

He's complaining about being forbidden from whacking sabertooths on the head unless he's using a newfangled club that shouts "I AM A CLUB!" while you wave it in the air and it shoots out orange and yellow flames

That would be true if the sabertooths and clubs were commercially-supported or government-run, running on a public trust that runs over cables owned by publicly-owned corporations that ran on a backbone originally designed and built by a government entity.

Other than that, your metaphor is perfectly appropriate, except for every noun.

Also.

Re:No problem (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875999)

If you live in a sandbox, you can't bitch about not having functionality.

I've used SandboxIE [sandboxie.com] to surf pr0n virus free for almost two years. I will continue to do so, it's only a matter of time until FF & IE private modes get gamed.
I do run NoScript when not sandboxed.

Re:No problem (0, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876361)

I've used SandboxIE [sandboxie.com] to surf pr0n virus free for almost two years.

Do me a favor: When you buy a new computer, please don't sell your keyboard and mouse on eBay.

OK?

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28876425)

Almost two years?! And here I am thinking two hours is impressive. What is your secret?

Re:No problem (4, Insightful)

Falcon4 (946292) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874953)

Um, I dunno why your tin foil hat is so large, but seriously, you're living in the 90's. There is - and never was - anything wrong at all with Javascript or cookies. Flash can be annoying, but the benefits far outweigh the "risk". Java is the only thing I don't particularly trust, since it's pretty much an open gateway to malware today.

Javascript, though? Seriously? Javascript is "standard webfare" in the modern world. Cookies are, as well. Every single modern web browser supports them, and enable developers to do some pretty cool things, like draggable maps, real-time page updates (AJAX), etc.

Put simply, you've got more to worry about in your web history than you'd ever have to worry about in cookies. With cookies, what are you protecting yourself from? A company trying to improve their product? What about Javascript? Protect yourself against... dynamic webpages? You're doing yourself more harm than good with these old principles. Should've left them at the door with Firefox 1.0... welcome to the Internet of the 21st century.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875349)

Javascript is relatively (!) sparsely used for user experience improvement. It's mostly used for tracking and ad delivery. Turn off Javascript someday and be amazed how little content actually needs it. Cookies should be replaced by a standard for web page preferences, where the web page specifies which options there are and what the possible values are. Then the users can set the preferences they care about in their browser and leave others (like tracking IDs) unset. Logins should never be implemented with cookies.

Java, btw, is a comparatively safe plugin. The much more ubiquitous Flash is not safer. Flash currently has an unpatched remote code execution vulnerability which is actively exploited in the wild.

Re:No problem (5, Informative)

Excelcior (1390167) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875849)

Cookies should be replaced by a standard for web page preferences, where the web page specifies which options there are and what the possible values are. Then the users can set the preferences they care about in their browser and leave others (like tracking IDs) unset. Logins should never be implemented with cookies.

Not to sound trollish, but seriously, are you a web coder? Strict online security in connection with login-protected content is simply not possible without a cookie*. Cookies are so standard that ASP even places cookies without telling the coder it's doing so (the 'application' variables).
Cookies are a necessary part of the Internet. The only problems with them is that they 1) aren't encoded by default, 2) can be set to expire whenever the coder wants, which can fill directories quickly if you do much browsing, and 3) can be made accessible to websites other than those who issued them.

If web browsers would just encode all cookies by default, then decode them whenever sending them back to a server, that would keep spyware from reading their contents from your computer. Then, if the browsers would store a 'touched date', and automatically delete all cookies over X age (configurable by the user?), many useless cookies would go away automatically. Finally, if cookies were only able to be read/written to by their issuing server, there would be no possibility for exploit (except to track your movements through pages which contain some content served by the issuing server, such as the much beloved doubleclick.net cookies -- which could easily be done-away-with by adding the rule that cookies cannot be accessed by any page displayed within an iframe/object/etc.)
Everyone always seems to believe that cookies are small programs or some such nonsense. Cookies are nothing but tiny databases stored on the user's computer. How much damage can that do?

* If you think you can have strict security by only tracking a user's IP address and/or passing a variable from one page to the next, you are sorely mistaken.

p.s. I know, I know.... ASP is m$ft. Get over it. :-P ;-)

Re:No problem (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876379)

There you go again, displaying facts and ruining what might have been perfectly good flamebaiting based on suspicion, FUD and paranoia.

If you want to surf anonymously, it's not that hard.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28876531)

There you go again, thinking everyone knows how to work their pr0n machine.

That there are options to block cookies, and that most people here do, says a lot.

Re:No problem (2, Informative)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 4 years ago | (#28877191)

I mostly agree with you. I would very much like a browser with the privacy settings you described. There is already the "Accept third-party cookies" option (I think all modern browser have a similar option), but I am not sure exactly what that does.

On the other hand, cookies are not needed for logins. In fact, they are a rather insecure way to do logins as anyone who can see your cookies can take over your session. For example, if you are on an open Wi-Fi hotspot and view any website that uses cookie logins and allows viewing logged-in pages without encryption, then anyone on the same hotspot can see your cookies and hijack your session. There was an automated attack specifically for GMail [zdnet.com] a little while ago (which Google added a "require HTTPS" option to secure against), but the same principle works for any site that does not require HTTPS (so it [hopefully] won't affect your bank).

Instead, logins should be done using HTTP digest authentication [wikipedia.org]. As HTTP auth actually authenticates each request separately (as HTTP is stateless so it has to), it does not get tied to an IP, but still works without cookies. Additionally, it never sends the user's password in the clear, so even if the user is tricked into logging into a phisher's server, the phisher gets no useful information.

Unfortunately, although all modern desktop browsers support digest auth (some more obscure mobile browsers might not), the UI is horrible. I have yet to see a browser even indicate clearly that the HTTP auth was not basic (read: send password in the clear which should come with as many click-through steps as Firefox's current setup for self-signed certificates). Also, users have been trained for years to expect login boxes to appear as part of a web page, not as part of the web browser.

Using cookies for authentication is bad idea. They are currently the preferred solution for UI and historical, not technical, reasons. The browser vendors should be working on a sane authentication UI, so we can stop using them for that purpose.

Re:No problem (1)

asdfndsagse (1528701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28877609)

Strict online security in connection with login-protected content is simply not possible without a cookie*.

Perhaps you havn't heard of simple http authentication [wikipedia.org]. Its widely used in web applications from big provider APIs, twitter, google, facebook, etc.

I guess you have you head in a hole with MSFT stuff, and havn't taken the time to understand the underlying technologies.

Re:No problem (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875455)

Stop spreading those lies. Cookies can be hijacks and can be leveraged for an attack.

I know, I was paid to do that when I did security.

Ever see the expression on a financial CEO's face when you hand them a list of customer information, account balances and passwords you get after 30 minutes of being on the job?

Priceless.

Re:No problem (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876393)

Ever see the expression on a financial CEO's face when you hand them a list of customer information, account balances and passwords you get after 30 minutes of being on the job?

You mean the expression that says "Who is this troublemaker, how much are we paying him, and call legal, because we have a potential blackmailer?"

That expression?

Re:No problem (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876561)

If a website has shoddy security, thats not the cookie's fault. You could do that just as easily by opening his saved passwords list. If the password is being stored locally, SUPRISE! you can retrieve it one way or the other-- even if you have to resort to sniffing.

Re:No problem (2, Interesting)

bluej100 (1039080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875575)

I'm a Javascript developer, and I use NoScript, because I'm frequently Googling for information and checking sites I haven't visited before. Almost any time a Firefox vulnerability is announced, NoScript already prevents the exploit. Besides, I don't want third-party tracking and flashy ads when I'm just browsing for information. I'm happy to add genuine web apps to my whitelist, but blog comment forms, for example, should never require Javascript to function.

Re:No problem (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875655)

You should have gone with "I'm a javascript developer and I use NoScript, because I know about all the shady crap I pull."

Re:No problem (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876277)

The main reason I don't do this is... Take that blog comment form. Yes, it should work without Javascript. However, with Javascript enabled, it shouldn't require a page reload, and could even provide realtime updates of comments other users are posting.

And if it's a proper, gracefully-degrading website, the only way you know about that is to turn Javascript on and test it.

Re:No problem (3, Insightful)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875081)

From the perspective of a web designer/developer who uses Javascript to enhance and optimize the user experience: people like you drive me up a frickin' wall. There's no need to disable all that stuff, unless you have a paranoid personality disorder.

Look, it just takes some common sense. Don't surf to sites that may be malicious. 99% of the time, it's completely obvious what those sites are. Also, it helps to not use IE, which is more susceptible to attacks than Firefox and other browsers.

Someone please give me a valid reason why anyone should be blocking cookies (1st party, NOT 3rd party) and disabling Javascript, other than paranoia and/or a bad case of nerd grump.

Re:No problem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875497)

I posted a response to a comment on the parent griping about flash and javascript--they are a security risk. I'll ignore cookies--that gets a bit...difficult to explain.

But because you don't seem to get it--let's make the javascript answer so simple even a programmer can understand it...

1) go to www.slashdot.org
2) hit view source
3) search for "ad.doubleclick.net"
4) you should see a call to document.write at a dynamic URL slashdot doesn't control
5) understand that a LOT of these go out through resellers--who go through other resellers--and so on...and all you have to do is buy a single script that gets into an ad rotation at a site like CNN or /. to be loading content off of another site--that can edit my DOM and run the driveby exploit du-jour.

Even if the script was safe when they checked it--it might not be safe five hours later when my browser pulls it down from a different IP address or netblock. The javascript isn't the risk--the third party javascript writing to my DOM to open an iframe with a driveby exploit is.

(and FWIW, there are actual javascript vulnerabilities--but I figured I'd stick to the obvious in this post)

As long as people continue to use things this way--they're a security risk.

Re:No problem (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876279)

If you ask me, what's stupid is that browsers even allow 'script' tags inside a document.write.

Or allow script tags that refer to URLS outside the site you are visiting.

There ought to be options to block both things.

Both should be blocked by default.

As should be scripting in remote frames.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875651)

Your job gets much easier if you value your own privacy and sanity. Enable popup blocking, disable cookies or limit them to the session, enable prompts for all forms of active content (IE) or install NoScript (Mozilla), disable local storage for all plugins which support it (Flash, Java), turn off the referer header, set your browser's user agent strings to something generic, turn off your browser's history. Then write your applications so that they don't annoy you with these settings.

Last Measure (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876463)

Someone please give me a valid reason why anyone should be blocking cookies (1st party, NOT 3rd party) and disabling Javascript, other than paranoia and/or a bad case of nerd grump.

The site http://paranoia.on.nimp.org demonstrates this, but do NOT visit this site unless you've turned OFF JavaScript and plug-ins for this domain.

Re:Last Measure (1)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876557)

But let's be realistic, who would normally visit that site, throughout their usual daily routine? I've had Javascript and cookies enabled always, for my entire time of browsing the web (15+ years?), and never had a web-based attack of any kind. And I surf a lot.

Re:Last Measure (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876753)

But let's be realistic, who would normally visit that site, throughout their usual daily routine?

Someone who accidentally clicks a link posted by a not-yet-caught forum troll without already knowing about Last Measure and all its known mirrors.

Re:No problem (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875311)

Leave cookies on, just make the directory that they go in is read only.
The site will think you allow cookies.

Re:No problem (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875479)

Simple. Just do what I do. Let cookies be saved, but only until you close your browser. I do this except for my whitelist where I let it store cookies permanently. This is really easy to set up in Firefox. I also have flash block installed, which is the only plugin I have installed. As far as Javascript goes, I let that run, but there's only so much it can do with cookies disabled, along with a good popup blocker. Never really had much of a problem with Javascript.

Re:No problem (2, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875539)

The site I'm building now won't bitch if you have cookies off. But if you try to login, you'll find that subsequent requests will be handled as if you have not logged in. If the web ever gets a better login scheme standardized, implemented, and widely deployed, then maybe cookies won't be needed as a half-arsed way to achieve login sessions. Also, if you disabled Javascript, the site will not lay out nicely. But that will fall under the same "degrade gracefully" principle as if you disabled CSS.

Re:No problem (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875887)

I block cookies, javascript and all plugins (with the exception of my whitelist). The problem is that more and more sites annoyingly (and uselessly) require these to work.

The proposal specifically prohibits restricting access to information or discrimination of services based on opting out of cookies.

Re:No problem (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875991)

This is like bitching about the "internet" requiring a browser... Do you need it, really? No, you can use telnet to port 80 - but it certainly makes the experience better.

Whew, that was a close one (5, Funny)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874683)

Thanks for telling me this. You see, I am an inept and computer illiterate terrorist. We all are, since none of us are smart enough to get an education. Hell, I barely managed to read this web page, and all my dumb terrorist buddies simply couldn't. We go to www.I-AM-A-TERRORIST.com all the time, and if I didn't get the heads-up, we would all be in jail now. You guys were smart to allocate resources to this sure-fire way to catch us. Oh well, time to get back to using the internet for evil, not good.

Re:No problem (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874717)

If you don't like kooties, block them. For those that don't even understand what a kootie is, make it clear what the government is doing and prove it through open source. Makes for a better web experience.

What's the problem with that?

Re:No problem (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28874759)

Obama will appoint a "Cookie Czar" and pay him $75k a year to decide IF you get one or DON'T GET ONE. I guess this is the CHANGE he was promoting during his run for President!

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875179)

you don't need open source to prove it you giant faggot, just use windows like the rest of us and look at files being added to the folder they all go in.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875591)

It's the part about making it clear to the common user that is the problem. That will NEVER happen. That's why we're all here as IT folks, believe it or not, to know how these things work and protect our users.

They're not supposed to have to know anything about how their computer works. We can't all know everything, that's why we all have different jobs. Thought everyone already had that figured out.

There is no need for cookies, and the government already knows more about any of us than it has any need or right to know.

Re:No problem (4, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875611)

What's the problem with that?

There is no problem with that, and may be that's the point.

Let's be really pedantic about cookies, let's waste all our time discussing them, all the while the government (with the help of the private sector) is silently trying to archive, index, and search through all our private emails, private phone conversations, web browsing logs (and search terms), phone graph relationships, travel plans, medical drug and mental health information, dna relationships, and/or anti-war political affiliations.

And let's not worry about the fact that all the low level city cops (at least in San Francisco) routinely do background checks and get private medical information for any random woman they're interested in dating (without any oversight, without any official reason, and without any logging that they've even accessed that information in the first place).

Let's talk about cookies instead and let's keep on explaining what cookies mean (because here on slashdot, I'm sure that no one knows what cookies are) -- ignoring all the other ways our privacy is being violated over and over again -- without even us knowing.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28876713)

It is so aggravating when the first response to an uncomfortable truth is a funny mod. But this seems to happen here more often than you'd think. (not the poster of the parent, btw)

Re:No problem (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876347)

What's the problem with that?

You think they don't already track your movements on the web, cell phones, etc? I seem to remember something about illegal wire-taps recently. What other illegal activities have you not heard about yet.

Re:No problem (1)

Brass Cannon (882254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876515)

What I think is interesting is that the general sentiment here seems to be:

"I am smart enough to block cookies so it's OK that the government tracks those other "dumb" people."

Well, those people are only dumb because they don't know enough to block cookies (or how to do it).

BUT

They are probably smarter than you on something else the government is doing.

So basically you are taking the "They are not coming for me so I am not concerned" approach. This is a very dangerous philosophy.

Oh, and if you think the government will ever make what they are doing clear, try reading the healthcare bill (HR 3200).

Well... (5, Funny)

Rewind (138843) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874267)

The Cookie monster will most certainly be displeased...

For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issue. (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874309)

I delete all my cookies automatically every time I close Firefox. I run Firefox via a script such that all the Flash cookies (yes Flash cookies) are also deleted.

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (5, Informative)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874531)

> such that all the Flash cookies (yes Flash cookies) are also deleted.

Good point. Too few people even know about Flash cookies. There's also a Firefox extension called BetterPrivacy [mozilla.org] that'll do this, for those that can't be bothered with scripts.

I know that some shadier ad networks also use Java local storage to store tracking info, if your browser has a Java plugin. Solution: disable storing temporary files on your computer using the Java control panel icon.

Honestly, I do all of this, but I wonder how many others would even bother. It's almost like Scott "You have no privacy. Get over it." McNealy was right.

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28877215)

I've always kinda wondered: if I can't have privacy and can't keep "them" away, can I overload folks trying track me for ANY reason I don't approve of with too much data to be useful? Can I purposely increase the noise in the ratio? How would I do that? Would it have any real effect?

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28874947)

Or you can change permissions on the $HOME/.macromedia directory to non-writeable. That's for Linux, I'm sure you can do something similar on Windows.

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875627)

Good idea. I'm sure there's also something to be done on OS X. Flash really is obnoxious.

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875003)

Is there any app that leaves the cookies but just randomly changes a few bits in them? Seems like good clean fun to me.

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875551)

There's this very old Perl script [tbtf.com], but it was designed for Netscape. I think Firefox now stores its cookies in a sqlite database, but Perl should still be able to handle that.

Re:For the computer savvy, this isn't even an issu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875293)

Would you mind posting a copy of that script or a link to it? I'm not sure what it is flash stores those off the top of my head...

is too: tech illiterate moms pay for our basements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875353)

More seriously, the "we're invincible, so throw grandma to the wolves" approach is kind of shortsighted.

You nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875669)

It must be a bitch logging into your e-mail account so often. Unless you just don't close Firefox that often.

Either way you're a nerd.

In before "you must be new here." I know, that's the joke. Come on, lighten up.

De Ja Vooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28874349)

This story is dupe-er-icious!!!

Slippery slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28874357)

First cookies, then muffins... what's next? websites sending cakes? pastries? quiches?
STOP THE MADNESS!

Violates Posse Cookietatus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28874391)

The federal government shouldn't have standing cookies domestically.

This will not turn out well.

What? (2, Funny)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874487)

We want to use cookies for good, not evil' â" and invited the public to comment on cookies

Isn't that like a double oxymoron?

White House good.
Public comment evil.

We're donediddily done for (5, Funny)

hugi (878361) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874549)

yup, now our privacy is completely gone. I heard ECHELON is mostly based on cookies.

Harmless chocolate chip goodness (1)

montulli (658308) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874573)

Cookies? Never heard of them. They are nothing, really. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain....

Just so we're clear... (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874643)

So for those at home Feds get cookies and police get donuts.

Re:Just so we're clear... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28877029)

Feds May Soon Be Allowed To Use Cookies

That is an interesting interrogation technique. Maybe more efficient than torture: "Who wants a cookie! Now tell me where the your terrorist colleagues are"

This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28874659)

This is ridiculous! Who the hell is going to pay for these cookies? Who is going to make them? Why do I want them in my computer, I don't think crumbs all over the place is good for a computer. Plus there is a spinny thing inside the HD (right?) With all the budget problems and economy doing badly wouldn't it be better giving those cookies to people so they can be eaten, or sell them as special 'government computer cookies'? I think eating cookies is gooder than storing them in my computer to go bad.

Government doing good? What are you talking about? (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874667)

The government thinks it's doing good while most of the time it's not doing good at all.

It's a very bad idea to let the government folks have any more tracking capabilities than they already have.

Every little cookie crumb you let them track about you gives them more power over your lives. Before you know it they have the entire cookie jar to themselves, including the chocolate chips of freedom! Don't let the cookie monster get all your cookies. Bake a new batch and keep them to yourself and your family and friends. The government has enough cookies.

Re:Government doing good? What are you talking abo (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875375)

The government does good almost all the time. Yeah, thre has been some screw ups,but overall it does good.

Re:Government doing good? What are you talking abo (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875489)

Sure a soldier gets a medal for valor while the people he murdered get put in graves and their families have to figure out how to survive. Yup, your Government State Mass Murderers doing good work every day.

COMMON SENSE! (1)

net28573 (1516385) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874711)

If the whitehouse wants to use them for good then they shouldnt even try because the moment they do start using those then every hacker will wipe their cookies with exception to the other citizens then their attempt at using cookies to track good will most likely be used as a new way to spy on regular people that wastes taxpayers money! uggg i hate it when they dont see the common sense. -_-

This makes no sense (1)

jerep (794296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874747)

They already monitor and record phone conversations, emails, IMs and pretty much every means of communication, yet tracking cookies arent used?

What kind of a backwards government is this, I want my vote back.

Re:This makes no sense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28875059)

What kind of a backwards government is this, I want my vote back.

NO worries Slashdot user jerep (794296) [SSN: 111-222-3333], we've checked our records and your vote wasn't counted. Have a nice day, and enjoy that caramel latte you just bought.

don't care anymore (2, Funny)

Nick (109) | more than 4 years ago | (#28874941)

If anyone felt like tracking where I've been, eavesdropping, etc, they would be very bored.

I love it (2, Insightful)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875265)

Tens of years ago, someone decided to name something a "magic cookie" and now we have FBI agents talking about "cookies" with solemn and serious faces.

Careful with the party tag there (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28875443)

I see this story has been tagged 'democrats', which implies that something is being done explicitly by democrats. While indeed this could be a change driven by democrats, they are not changing something that was implemented by republicans. After all, it says that the policy began in 2000 - when Bill Clinton was president. Just because it wasn't changed during 8 years of a republican POTUS doesn't mean they didn't want to.

Response from a prominent government official (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#28876991)

There has been some dissatisfaction with this decision, as some see cookies as an imperfect system. However one government official to whom we spoke via telephone said the resolution was "good enough for me." We had hoped to ask some further questions but all we heard was some sort of ruckus accompanied by a sound like "om nom nom" just before the phone connection was lost.

Preferences only? (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 4 years ago | (#28877235)

If they are worried about the idea of tracking visitors (which seems reasonable), then why don't they just store the user's preferences directly in the cookies? The idea of storing user preferences server-side is just a bandwidth saving trick (because the preferences will tend to be bigger than an index into the site's users table) because cookies get sent with every request. There: nothing unique appears in the cookies, so they cannot be used for tracking people.

give me the cookies! (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28877467)

If you guys don't like the cookies, give them to me!!! COOOOOKIES!!! NOM NOM NOM NOM!
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