|According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House is proposing a six billion dollar secretive system that would monitor Internet traffic and collect personal data.|
The proposal from President George Bush would be designed to protect US communications networks from attacks by terrorists, spies and hackers but is stirring controversy and could prove a hard sell to Congress and the American public amid divisiveness about other Government-run surveillance programs.
In addition, the newspaper quotes officials familiar with the initiative as stating that protecting private computer systems would likely require the Government to install sensors on private and company networks. This would require the placement of millions of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which would allow the Government, retailers and others to closely monitor consumer behaviour and activity.
The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) lobby group is critical of the Bush plan and has also scrutinized the European Union's desire to have IP numbers considered as personal data.
“That policy puts the European Union on a collision course with web giants like Google and Yahoo as well as a growing number of popular web 2.0 services that utilise IP addresses to personalise and improve the relevance of their offerings to web users,” read a statement from iMEGA.