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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

U.S. military can surf the Web anonymously

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A document recently released by secrecy campaigners shows that the U.S. military uses "non-attributable internet access" for certain intelligence operations.

Newly declassified regulations governing U.S. Army intelligence-gathering activities were posted on the Internet earlier this month by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.

In one change to existing rules, the regulations state that although intelligence personnel must ordinarily use government computers for official business, "if operational security so requires, such as to protect a government computer from hacker retaliation, a ... commander may approve non-attributable Internet access."

The regulations say that IP addresses, URLs and e-mail addresses "not self-evidently associated with" a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident "may be acquired, retained and processed by Army intelligence components without making an effort to determine whether they are associated" with such a person, "as long as the component does not engage in analysis focused on specific addresses" -- such as trying to determine whether they are used by terrorists.

"Once such an analysis is initiated," the regulations state, the component "must make a reasonable and diligent inquiry to determine" whether they belong to an American.

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