The urchinTracker() method: How Dozier Internet Law, PC’s website secretly spies on its visitors

Many web sites track or (to use a less friendly word) “spy”on their users. As tdaxp.com sits on top of blogspirit’s blog content system, I can view aggregate data about who is accessing my posts. Many other sites use SiteMeter or another third-party tool to get even more detailed information.

Some attempt to hide their espionage, however. One such good example is Dozier Internet Law, PC (a company which forbids hyperlinking). They forbid the “view source” option in a web browser that allows individuals to see what code is being activated by their presense. A view source on Slashdot‘s copy of their web code reveals the following

<script type="text/javascript">
_uacct = "UA-294347-1";
urchinTracker();
</script>

Curious about what this (I was inspired by Raise the Hammer‘s investigation) I searched, and found that it is part of Google Analytics:

Google Analytics’ urchinTracker allows you to track events on your site that do not generate a pageview. Using the urchinTracker JavaScript, you can assign a specific page filename to Flash events, JavaScript events, file downloads, outbound links, and more.

For more information on using urchinTracker, please refer to the following help articles:

To be, this presents an ethical dilemma. Dozier eavesdrops on the browsers that visits it. Simultaneously, Dozier’s rules make it impossible to notice the eavesdropping while obeying its terms of use. I’m not sure what the ethics rules for “attorney advertising” (which Dozier’s website is classified as) are for lawyers in the jurisdiction where they operate, but I assume they do not encourage making informed consent impossible.

Related:

Global warming religion and the Peace Prize

Global warming religion is that form of public faith that is common among those too cool for Christianity but too human to have faith in nothing. Only superficially related to animsm, Global warming religion is closer to a search-and-replace on Protestant Christianity, focusing on

  • Sins – CO2 emitting activities
  • Tribulation – climate change, as a result of Sins
  • Salvation of Man – to occur after the Tribulation
  • Personal Salvation – to be done through turning the heart from Sins, even if Sins do not cease

The fetishism around Al Gore ads a messianic tone to the movement, as is the case for many cults.

Soob takes a pot shot at the Prophet by noting how Irene Sendler did more, but the real shame is that if the Nobel Peace Prize committee wanted to do name a former Clinton administration official, they couldn’t have done better than: Bill Clinton.

NAFTA and the WTO were two of the three most important trade organizations formed in the 1990s, and both were created under Bill Clinton.

But Al’s cool too. Who else will help me save myself while the costs of sins lead us to the tribulation? Oh, to hurry the day for the salvation of man!