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Web Surfers Forced to Choose Security or Anonymity

A Google service that helps protect Internet surfers from malicious sites also gathers data about browsing activities that users are trying to keep secret, a researcher told attendees at the Black Hat security conference last week in Las Vegas.

Google Safe, a database service that warns Internet users when they are about to enter infected pages, marks browsers so the users can be identified even if they proxy all their traffic through another IP address, says Robert Hansen, CEO of Internet security firm SecTheory. "It's a privacy-security tradeoff," Hansen says.

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