AOL 4.0 HOAX
Disgruntled x-employees of AOL post to news groups "AOL 4.0 is an Intrusion of Privacy - IMPORTANT!". BIN95 will investigate these allegations for our readers.
Before viewing a copy of this amazing letter that was posted to news groups, I suggest that you read on to find out about its validity. At the bottom of the article, there is a link to a page with a copy of the hoax. We will also provide you with a link where you can read about other hoaxes.
It has been said for a long time, "don't always believe what you read in the news", but for the most part....we still do. This is true for news groups also. If it was uncovered that AOL had plans on invading our privacy through their service, it would at least have made the news. At least a national news syndicate would be more careful to check validity, to reduce the risk of being sued.
This leads to tips for finding truths. If you read something from a news group that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Chain letters are a medium to use when no other media will convey your message (An example would be stories rejected by tabloids) or a scam. If someone will not make their name available on something they publish, there is most likely a good reason.
Some points noted while dissecting the hoax chain letter ... AOL already has your password and account information. There is no need to use a cookie on your hard drive to extract information they all ready have. If the author of this letter put a copy of it on a web site, it would be useless for AOL to remove it. This is because all the anti-AOL web sites already out there would put duplicates up and AOL would not be able to remove all those pages, on all the sites. More likely the author feared being sued. If the authors of this letter needed money and the story had some ounce of truth, they could sell it to the news media, at least the tabloids. AOL could not even attempt such thing, because all the hackers would find them out, and expose them. AOL did not get where they are today, by being stupid enough to risk such a stunt. If these guys were writing the code, they would not have to take it home and pick it apart. The final kicker is their hush-hush attitude through out the letter. As a friend said to me, "do you really think an AOL hit man will show up at their door step and ice them?". Also if AOL was going to do something mischievous, they would be smart enough to hide the code in a binary part of their program , like a virus.
What does AOL have to say about these allegations? AOL has declared the AOL V4.0 Cookie chain letter a hoax. The following statement from AOL: "I wish to bring to your attention the attached hoax letter that has been circulating on the Internet, making serious allegations about AOL 4.0. All of these allegations are false.". Tatiana Gau, Vice President of AOL Integrity Assurance.
This hoax chain letter does bring up an issue that needs touched on though, that's Cookies.Here's what a Cookie is: Small text files stored in your AOL30\Cookies or Windows\Cookies folder written to your HD by some Web sites supposedly to speed access to the site if you return. It also helps the company determine marketing preferences by knowing what people review on their page. Cookies can be deleted without degradation to your AOL operation. To purge the Cookies folder: Win95 - Use Explorer and navigate to the Cookies folder. Mark the first file by depressing the Shift Key + Left mouse button. Continue to depress the Shift Key and scroll to the last file then left click the last file. This procedure marks all from the first one you clicked to the last one you clicked. Click Delete.
Now that you have read the above text, you will be more knowledgeable while viewing a sample of the fore mentioned AOL 4 hoax chain letter. Please save it to your favorites, so you can check out future hoaxes. In closing, please do not pass on email that makes allegations, until you have confirmed their validity. Or else you may hurt your own reputation.