Another Privacy Service Bites the Dust

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SafeWeb, a free service that allowed Web users to surf the Internet anonymously, has been shut down.

"For the time being, we have decided to turn off the free privacy service," reads a statement on "In the future, we may re-launch the service on a subscription basis."

However, a spokeswoman said the service is unlikely to be restarted, according to a report on, a Washington Post property.

Founded in April 2000, Emeryville, CA-based SafeWeb's free service was supported in part by small untrackable banners.

The service was also partially funded by the CIA and intended as a way to give Web users in countries such as China and Iran a way to avoid censors.

SafeWeb is the second anonymous-Web-surfing service to shut down in two months, though the other was not free.

Montreal-based Zero-Knowledge Systems said in October that it would discontinue its subscription-based Freedom Network services, which allowed people to surf the Web and e-mail anonymously.

It is now selling security software that, among other things, manages forms and passwords and offers personal fire walls.


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