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 SafeWeb.com. "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 Washtech.com, 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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