Dallas TX (WiredPRnews.com)—Internet Explorer 8 users can cover their tracks with a new feature in Beta 2, nicknamed ‘Porn Mode,’ which automatically erases traces of visited websites when the user closes the window.
The feature, named InPrivate by Microsoft, “…deletes records of cookies, passwords, search queries, temporary Internet files, form data and words typed into the address bar,” according to an August 28 Networkworld.com article. This function helps distinguish Microsoft’s browsing tool from rival Google, which does furnish search histories to authorities in some cases.
The new function cuts both ways in issues far more serious than whether someone was surfing porn sites. One possibility is that terrorist conspirators may be able to elude authorities with the InPrivacy function while they plan their attacks. A terrorist, who thinks that he may be under surveillance, could flush the evidence of his crime down an electronic toilet.
The flip side is that Microsoft’s InPrivate function could a protect dissidents in oppressive nations like China. “Online search engine Yahoo! was vilified by human rights campaigners after it disclosed details of its users to the Chinese government,” according to an August 28 FoxNews.com article. “The information led to the arrests of writers and dissidents. One journalist…was tracked down and jailed for ten years for subversion after Yahoo passed on his e-mail and IP address to officials. Yahoo! had argued that it had no option but to comply with local laws.”