Under a controversial new feature scheduled to be included in
the upcoming Windows XP, Microsoft could insert live hyperlinks on
your Web pages -- without the knowledge or participation of the Web
Microsoft quietly included a feature called Internet Explorer
Smart Tags in a beta version of the Windows XP operating system,
which is set for release in October. Smart Tags is an insiduous
technology: it will search Web pages for certain words or phrases
and then insert links not intended by the creator of the Web page.
For instance, Microsoft could tell Internet Explorer to search
through a Web page on behalf of a client -- say, Ford Motor Company
-- and automatically insert a link to MSN whenever Ford or a Ford
brand name is found on a Web page. The original Web page on the Web
server isn't changed; what's changed is how the page is rendered by
Internet Explorer. And while Microsoft says that a Web-site
designers can turn off Smart Tags on the server side, there's the
fear that this overriding could be ignored by the browser without
the knowledge of the Web-site designer.
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