AN INFORMATION SHEET released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has attracted some critics, as it paints anyone with a passing interest in personal data security as a potential terrorist.
The flyer, which we saw on the Publicintelligence.net web site, asks people to be on the lookout for suspicious people in internet cafes and offers a checklist of what should be considered suspicious.
Suspicious behaviour (PDF), it seems, could be encrypting photos or shielding your screen from the view of other people - two things that seem perfectly reasonable behaviour in a web cafe.
Terrorists might use residential internet service providers, such as Comcast or AOL, and might use VoIP to talk while playing computer games. They might also use "anonymisers, portals, or other means to shield [their] IP address," it adds.
These are only supposed to be indicators of course, but they do suggest that law enforcement in the US would prefer that people not protect their privacy or communicate privately. However, the FBI flyer attempts to counter this impression with a soothing statement.
"It is important to remember that just because someone's speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that he or she is suspicious," it (ungrammatically) says. µ
We should be shocked, but...
But the search giant has now squashed the bug
But it's not yet available here in Blighty