Privacy groups decry DOD Web tracking

Privacy groups decry DOD Web tracking

The Electronic Privacy Information Center recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all documents related to the Defense Department's purchase of reports on students' Web-surfing habits.

'We're very interested in knowing why the Defense Department would want this kind of information,' EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg said.

Maj. Tim Blair, a DOD spokesman, denied that the department is monitoring children's Internet habits.

'We are monitoring how many clicks we have on our Web site,' he said. 'We want to know how effective it is and how many people contact us for information.'

But a spokesman for N2H2, which gathers data through filters on school computers, said DOD is getting more information than just its Web site hits.

The Seattle Web-filtering service provider determines the top 1,000 Web sites that students visit each month and the amount of time they spend at each site, company officials said.

The data cost DOD $15,000, EPIC officials said.

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