Web surfers can now send email, chat and use newsgroups under a pseudonym, or 'nym', thanks to software released this week by a Canadian firm.
Zero Knowledge Systems has developed Freedom which enables users to establish any number of different untraceable, online identities.
The software, which transparently encrypts and reroutes Internet traffic, is designed to allow users to set up untraceable digital identities called 'nyms'. These identities help users control the disclosure of personal information, including their IP addresses.
Activities done under a nym go through a network of 150 Freedom Servers, each one erasing the last trace of where the function came from. A spokesman explained: "As data travels to each server, the servers only know where it immediately came from and where it goes next."
Ultimately the company wants to manage and control the disclosure of personal information on behalf of consumers and businesses, said Austin Hill, Zero Knowledge's president.
Freedom is fully compatible with all current Internet applications, including Microsoft Explorer and Netscape Communicator.
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