Article 43

 

Monday, December 31, 2007

Amazon Datamining

amazon-honor.jpg Have you ever visted a website and see ONE OF THESE little pay boxes sporting your name? I think Amazon, Pay-Pal, and E-Bay use similar neat little tricks, whose use on the internet seems to grow every day.

Although clearly visible - these cute little thingies are as BAD FOR PRIVACY as any other WEB BUG, and can let Amazon, Pay-Pal, etc, collect lots of info on the websites you visit - to DO WITH AS THEY PLEASE.

And not too many people seem to care based on the lack of articles I found about it on the internet.

Looks like something GOOGLE should have thought up.

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No Honor In Amazon’s Site Scheme

By Mike Himowitz
Baltimore Sun
February 12, 2001

If you’ve ever bought a book or CD from Amazon.com, try this little experiment: point your Web browser to SETI’S web site.

You say you’ve never heard of this outfit? Well, it appears they’ve heard of you. In fact, when you arrive at the SETI Web page, you’ll probably see a little box that welcomes you by name and asks for a donation. Now try browsing around couple of other sites you’ve probably never heard of, such as satire wire.com, or chank.com, or indigenousrocks.com. They all seem to know who you are.

Big Brother at work? No, Big Amazon, flexing its muscle to make a few million extra bucks and let you know how easy it is to track your comings and goings, even when you’re surfing far away from the bookseller’s Web site.

Amazon’s trick is one of several Internet privacy busters that surfaced in the past week or so, proving that every time I think I’m getting paranoid, something comes along to prove that I have good reason to look over my shoulder.

For example, consider the clever folks who send you junk mail that automatically notifies them that you’ve read it - thereby ensuring that your address will be permanently inscribed in their “Make Big $$$” database. Or another little e-mail security glitch that not only alerts the sender that you’ve read a message, but also passes on information about everyone to whom it’s forwarded, along with any comments they’ve added along the way.

We’ll take these little horrors one at a time.

Amazon’s latest contribution is known, ironically, as the “Honor System.” It’s a scheme that allows its customers to donate money to a worthy Web site by clicking on a graphic inviting the contribution. If you choose to give, Amazon uses its billing system to charge your credit card. The Web site profits, and the bookseller makes money by taking a cut of the donation.

Amazon has used a benign variant of this scheme to sign up hundreds of thousands of “associate” Web sites. They offer visitors a link to Amazon in exchange for a small commission on any sales the link generates. No ethical or privacy problem here.

But the Honor System is different because Amazon knows where you are even if you haven’t clicked on the Amazon link.

That’s because the graphic in the Honor System box is actually stored on Amazon’s site. When your Web browser requests the graphic from Amazon (which happens invisibly in the background), Amazon queries your browser to see if an Amazon customer’s “cookie\” is stored on your hard drive. This is a tiny file with information about you that Amazon uses when you visit its Web site. If such a cookieexists, Amazon looks you up and displays your name in the graphic. To you, it appears that the Web site you’re visiting knows who you are.

Given Amazon’s reach and the lure of free money to Web site operators, it won’t be long before Amazon can track its customers all over the Web - without their knowledge.

In its official pronouncement, Amazon naturally said it doesn’t store this information and has no intention of using it. But Amazon is known for changing its mind. Last year it abandoned a longstanding promise never to sell information about its customers’ book-buying habits. Critics point to Amazon’s track record.

“Amazon’s policy may change significantly, as it has in the past,” said Jason Catlett, president of Junkbusters, an Internet privacy monitor at JUNKBUSTERS “Amazon didn’t use the word ‘never’ in this statement, and even if they did, why should we trust them? They’ve betrayed that trust before.”

Let’s move on to e-mail. If you use Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or Netscape Messenger, you’re probably viewing mail in “HTML” format. This is the coding system used to create Web pages. It allows you (and advertisers) to create mail with attractive typefaces, colors and graphics. Unfortunately, HTML can hide programming features that turn an e-mail message into an Internet spy.

Try it yourself. Send a message to a friend who uses Outlook or Netscape, but append “.confirm.to” to the address. If your friend is , make the address .

When John sees it, you’ll get e-mail telling you when he read it, along with the Internet address of his computer. And here’s the kicker - John doesn’t even have to open the message. If his mail preview windowis open, that’s enough to trigger the response.

For this we can thank a Korean company called POSTEL SERVICES INC., which intercepts any message addressed this way and attaches a piece of HTML code that links to a tiny, invisible graphic stored on a company Web server. Because your computer has requested the graphic from Postel, it knows that you’re reading the mail.

These graphics are known in the trade as “Web bugs,” and they’re nothing more than tiny, invisible spies. They operate under the same principle as Amazon’s Honor System graphic. Displaying a message with a Postel Web bug is all that’s needed to let Postel know that John has seen it. Postel forwards the information to you.

Postel will let you send 30 bugged messages per month free of charge (no signup required). After that, it charges 2 cents apiece. But the company hopes to make its real money selling the service to commercial e-mail advertisers.

An even more insidious e-mail weakness - publicized recently by the Colorado-based PRIVACY FOUNDATION - allows a programmer to embed invisible JavaScriptcode in an HTML message that secretly forwards the contents of the message back to the sender every time it’s read - along with any text that’s been added to it.

A business memo thus bugged and circulated for comment could conceivably give a competitor amazing insights into a company’s thinking - making e-mail an invisible tool of corporate espionage. Law enforcement agencies could also use the technology to spy on any group of associates without the niceties of a search warrant or wiretap order.

So I’m not paranoid. People are out there watching and snooping, and they’re finding new tools every day. You should be worried, too. Next time, we’ll discuss steps you can take to protect your privacy.

SOURCE

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Amazon Knows Who You Are

Associated Press
March 27, 2005

Amazon.com has one potentially big advantage over its rival online retailers: It knows things about you that you may not know yourself.

Though plenty of companies have detailed systems for tracking customer habits, both critics and boosters say Amazon is the trailblazer, having collected information longer and used it more proactively. It even received a patent recently on technology aimed at tracking information about the people for whom its customers buy gifts.

Amazon sees such data gathering as the best way to keep customers happy and loyal, a relationship-building technique that analysts consider potentially crucial to besting other online competitors.

“In general, we collect as much information as possible such that we can provide you with the best feedback,” said Werner Vogels, Amazon’s chief technology officer.

But some privacy advocates believe Amazon is getting dangerously close to becoming Big Brother with your credit card number.

“They are constantly finding new ways to exploit personal information,” said Chris Hoofnagle of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an Amazon nemesis since 2000 after the company changed its privacy policy to allow sharing of personal information with companies it buys or partners with.

For years, Amazon has collected detailed information about what its customers buy, considered buying, browsed for but never bought, recommended to others or even wished someone would buy them. It has built ever-more sophisticated tools to recommend more purchases, direct your searches toward products it thinks you’re most likely to want, or even stop the forgetful among us from buying the same book we purchased five years ago.

For example, a customer who buys the movie Lost In Translation might also be prodded to buy 21 Grams or Kill Bill, Vol. 1 because others have made similar purchases. And customers who searched several times for a Laurie R. King mystery novel might find a book by her the next time they visit Amazon’s home page.

More recently, the Seattle virtual retailer has launched a web search engine, called A9, that can remember everything you’ve ever searched for—and the site reserves the right to share that information with its retailing arm.

Amazon also funds a website called 43 Things. It seeks to link people with similar goals, such as getting out of debt.

Technology that can accurately anticipate a customer’s greatest desires is going to be crucial in the growing competition with internet-based upstarts and traditional retailers moving online, said analyst David Garrity with Caris and Co.

“One would argue that this is the basis on which a great relationship with a customer was founded,” Garrity said. “If only our significant others were like this.”

But Amazon must build that relationship without alienating the customer. As customer tracking gets more detailed, Garrity said Amazon and other companies should start asking customers for permission to gather certain information.

To some privacy experts, Amazon has already crossed the line. Most recently, Amazon tangled with privacy advocates over a patent on technology that aims to track a shopper’s gift-giving habits, including the recipient’s age and preferences.

Karen Coyle, a member of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, worries that the technology would be used to gather information on children, perhaps violating a federal law that limits the gathering of information on kids under 13.

Amazon spokesman Craig Berman says the company hasn’t yet used the technology, and he insisted it would not violate those federal guidelines.

Coyle said some privacy-minded users also might be turned off by the A9 search engine. Although such personalization would improve the quality of search results, Coyle said she would be uncomfortable with a commercial business keeping that data. Analyst Mark Mahaney with American Technology Research questions whether A9 is worth the hefty investment.

A9 ranked 41st in popularity among search engines in February, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, attracting only a fraction of visitors to Google or Yahoo.

“It’s a little more of a stretch to me as to why investors should be excited about that,” Mahaney said. “Isn’t that a little crowded space?”

Udi Manber, A9’s chief executive, says the idea behind A9 is to improve search, both on Amazon and in general. A9 is adding some Amazon functions, such as reviews and recommendations, to a system that searches the Yellow Pages.

But Manber said A9 has no current plans to link customers’ web searches with their Amazon shopping habits, even though data from both sites are stored using the same customer log-in.

Amazon’s backing of 43 Things potentially gives it an opening into social networking. At the site, people list personal goals and find out who else shares their ambitions.

Many companies, including Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, also are investing in community-building technology, and Garrity said Amazon has a clear interest in cultivating that same feeling around its sales site. But for now, it’s unclear how 43 Things might eventually relate to Amazon’s grander plans—Berman said it’s too early to speculate on such things.

Even some of Amazon’s biggest foes say customer tracking can make shopping more convenient. Despite the benefits, however, government-backed restraints are needed as technology gets smarter, said Jason Catlett of the privacy advocacy group Junkbusters.

People need legal rights to see the profiles that are built about them and to change or delete what they want,” Catlett said.

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Posted by Elvis on 12/31/07 •
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India’s $2,500 Car

What Will The Tata Rs 1-Lakh Car Be Like

By Ruth David
Forbes
December 27, 2007

Some of the secrecy surrounding the Tatas’ Rs 1-lakh small car has been shed, with a company executive disclosing that the vehicle will get 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) per liter and in performance terms will match the Maruti [Get Quote] 800, one of the most popular cars in the budget segment of the Indian market.

“It’s an eco-car with a 25 kilometer-per-liter mileage on petrol, meets every international standard and specification, including Euro-4 norms. Acceleration wise, it’s the same as a Maruti 800,” R A Mashelkar, a nonexecutive director on Tata Motors’ [Get Quote] board, told reporters in Kolkata.

He was recounting a visit to Tata Motors’ plant in the western city of Pune, during which he rode in a prototype of the vehicle, which is expected to launch in the middle of next year and will be priced at Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) (approximately $2,500), the cheapest for such a passenger vehicle in this market.

Mashelkar also put to rest questions on how spacious the car would be, explaining that there was ample space in both the front and the rear to fit his six-foot frame. “In a bid to reduce weight of the car, Tata Motors’ engineers have used more plastics. The car does not use too many bolts which also helps in reducing weight. Instead, it’s all a new kind of welding,” he was quoted as saying.

Mashelkar also spoke about the moment when Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata decided he needed to make a small car. “You know how ‘Ratan’ thought about this small car. . . One day he was going on the road and saw a family of four getting soaked in the rain. That was when he decided to create a small car for all,” he recalled at a conference in Calcutta.

Tata Motors is hoping its small car will make inroads into the market for two-wheelers in India. Within the automobile sector, its closest competitor is Maruti Suzuki, which makes around 50% of the cars on Indian roads.

During a visit to India last week, Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki expressed skepticism that an auto manufacturer could produce a vehicle at the selling price promised by Tata.

Earlier this year, Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn also announced plans to make a car priced at around $3,000 for the Indian market.

Tata will face increased global competition if its bid for Ford Motor’s Jaguar and Land Rover brands is successful. Reports emerging from Britain pegged the Tatas as front-runners in a race that includes India’s Mahindra and Mahindra and U.S. buyout group OneEquity.

Ford is expected to select a buyer before the month end or early next year, for a sale likely to fetch about $2 billion.

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Posted by Elvis on 12/31/07 •
Section General Reading
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2006 Report On Mass Surveillance

Privacy and Human Rights 2006

Pivacy International
December 17, 2007

As we go to press with the tenth edition of the Privacy and Human Rights report, the following paragraphs appeared in a front-page news report in the New York Times:

At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity. . . .

Data on the chip will include not just the citizens name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of Chinas controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card. . .

Both steps are officially aimed at fighting crime and developing better controls on an increasingly mobile population, including the nearly 10 million peasants who move to big cities each year. But they could also help the Communist Party retain power by maintaining tight controls on an increasingly prosperous population at a time when street protests are becoming more common.

It is a remarkable article that describes the development of an unparalleled system of mass surveillance, as well as the role of the US-based firm China Public Security that has gathered the funding from US investment firms and the technology from US hi-tech firms to pursue the project.

From a privacy perspective, the concern about such systems of mass surveillance is more than the fact of constant observation, the prospect that a person’s activities will be tracked in both physical space and through the recorded events of electronic transactions. It is that decisions affecting the individual will be made in secret without accountability and with too many opportunities for improper and abusive conduct. Why do the police approach one person on the street and not another? Why are certain people who present identity documents subject to further scrutiny? Is religion or ethnicity a factor that a state agent should consider in how an individual is treated? What is consequence of meeting with another person in a public square where ones presence is recorded by a camera overhead?

How well societies are able to answer questions such as these, in addition to whether they have actually conducted the assessment to determine if such systems are necessary, is a key measure of the commitment to transparency and justice in a modern age. And whether advocates and experts are able to distinguish between such systems is also some measure of the quality of the debate surrounding new forms of surveillance. The publication of the annual Privacy and Human Rights report is intended to further this discussion.

Of course, in the surveillance economy decisions are made not only by the countries and institutions that deploy such technologies but also by the companies that design them. The scope of data collection, the methods of analysis, the extent of data retention, and the prospects for additional applications reflect choices made by the firms that market systems of video surveillance, DNA collection, biometric identification, and behavioral profiling. So we learn that the system in China to monitor the public in the city of Shenzhen was developed and financed in the United States, inspired in part by the work of American firms to develop systems of identification and surveillance in Iraq.

China will soon host the Olympics and invite the people of the world to that extraordinary country. This creates a unique opportunity for a public dialogue about the appropriate scope of state surveillance in modern society. Perhaps China will take the lead from the last Olympic host Greece. In 2004, at the urging of the United States and in the midst of heightened concerns about terrorism, Greece installed an elaborate system of closed circuit television across Athens. Cameras peered over street corners and across city parks. But once the event concluded, the country, now at the urging of its own data protection authority, concluded the cameras were intrusive and unnecessary. Some were gathered up and stored in warehouses. Others were moved from residential communities to public highways. Today the debate between law enforcement and privacy authorities over the scope of camera surveillance in Athens continues. But there is a shared sense that it is an important debate and one that should take place in many other cities around the world.

Financial Support for the 2006 edition of the Privacy and Human Rights report was provided by the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Rose Foundation, and the ғOn the Identity Trail Project of the university of Ottawa School of Law, which is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

RIAA Is After Us All

riaa2.jpg

Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use

By Marc Fisher
Washington Post
December 30, 2007

Despite more than 20,000 lawsuits filed against music fans in the years since they started finding free tunes online rather than buying CDs from record companies, the recording industry has UTTERLY FAILED to halt the decline of the record album or the rise of digital music sharing.

Still, hardly a month goes by without a news release from the industry’s lobby, the Recording Industry Association of America, touting a new wave of letters to college students and others demanding a settlement payment and threatening a LEGAL BATTLE.

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than writea check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.

“I couldn’t believe it when I read that,” says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. “The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.”

RIAA’s hard-line position seems clear. Its Web site says: “If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you’re stealing. You’re breaking the law and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages.”

They’re not kidding. In October, after a trial in Minnesota—the first time the industry has made its case before a federal jury—Jammie Thomas was ordered to pay $220,000 to the big record companies. That’s $9,250 for each of 24 songs she was accused of sharing online.

Whether customers may copy their CDs onto their computers—an act at the very heart of the digital revolution—has a murky legal foundation, the RIAA argues. The industry’s own Web site says that making a personal copy of a CD that you bought legitimately may not be a legal right, but it “won’t usually raise concerns,” as long as you don’t give away the music or lend it to anyone.

Of course, that’s exactly what millions of people do every day. In a Los Angeles Times poll, 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said they thought it was legal to copy a CD they own and give it to a friend. The RIAA cites a study that found that more than half of current college students download music and movies illegally.

The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG’s chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that “when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Copying a song you bought is “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,’ “ she said.

But lawyers for consumers point to a series of court rulings over the last few decades that found no violation of copyright law in the use of VCRs and other devices to time-shift TV programs; that is, to make personal copies for the purpose of making portable a legally obtained recording.

As technologies evolve, old media companies tend not to be the source of the innovation that allows them to survive. Even so, new technologies don’t usually kill off old media: That’s the good news for the recording industry, as for the TV, movie, newspaper and magazine businesses. But for those old media to survive, they must adapt, finding new business models and new, compelling content to offer.

The RIAA’s legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only “created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies,” Beckerman says. “Every problem they’re trying to solve is worse now than when they started.”

The industry “will continue to bring lawsuits” against those who “ignore years of warnings,” RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said in a statement. “It’s not our first choice, but it’s a necessary part of the equation. There are consequences for breaking the law.” And, perhaps, for firing up your computer.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Great Retirement Health Care Ripoff

retire.gif

I wonder if the CWA and other unions are supporting SCREWING RETIREES like they support Big Business’ FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE model that’s nothing less than SCREWING their own members, and EVERY OTHER American worker - especially UNION-REPRESENTED TEMPS.

If so, the fight us older people have is against a Corporate-Union-Government alliance.

A great DIVIDE AND CONQUER strategy, if we start distrusting unions - like I already have.

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bba.jpg

U.S. Ruling Backs Benefit Cut at 65 in Retiree Plans

By Robert Pear
NY Times
December 27, 2007

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday that employers could REDUCE OR ELIMINATE health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.

THE POLICY set forth in a new regulation, allows employers to establish two classes of retirees, with more comprehensive benefits for those under 65 and more limited benefits or none at all - for those older.

More than 10 million retirees rely on employer-sponsored health plans as a primary source of coverage or as a supplement to Medicare, and Naomi C. Earp, the commissions chairwoman, said, “This rule will help employers continue to voluntarily provide and maintain these critically important health benefits.”

Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.1 percent this year and have increased 78 percent since 2001, according to surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Because of the rising cost of health care and the increased life expectancy of workers, the commission said, many employers refuse to provide retiree health benefits or even to negotiate on the issue.

In general, the commission observed, employers are not required by federal law to provide health benefits to either active or retired workers.

Dianna B. Johnston, a lawyer for the commission, said many employers and labor unions had told it that “if they had to provide identical benefits for retirees under 65 and over 65, they would just drop retiree health benefits altogether for both groups.”

In a preamble to the new regulation, published Wednesday in the Federal Register, the commission said, “The final rule is not intended to encourage employers to eliminate any retiree health benefits they may currently provide.”

But AARP and other advocates for older Americans attacked the rule. “This rule gives employers free rein to use age as a basis for reducing or eliminating health care benefits for retirees 65 and older,” said Christopher G. Mackaronis, a lawyer for AARP, which represents millions of people age 50 or above and which had sued in an effort to block issuance of the final regulation. ”Ten million people could be affected adversely affected - by the rule.”

The new policy creates an explicit exemption from AGE DISCRIMINATION LAWS for employers that scale back benefits of retirees 65 and over. Mr. Mackaronis asserted that the exemption was “in direct conflict with the AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967.”

The commission, by contrast, said that under that law, it could establish “such reasonable exemptions” as it might find necessary and proper in the public interest. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, upheld this claim in June, in the case filed by AARP, which has asked the Supreme Court to review the decision.

In its ruling, the appeals court said, “We recognize with some dismay that the proposed exemption may allow employers to reduce health benefits to retirees over the age of 65 while maintaining greater benefits for younger retirees.” But the court said the commission had shown that the exemption was a “reasonable, necessary and proper exercise of its authority.”

Under the new rule, employers may, if they choose, provide retiree health benefits “only to those retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare.” Likewise, the rule says, retiree health benefits can be “altered, reduced or eliminated when a retiree becomes eligible for Medicare.”

Further, employers will be able to reduce or eliminate health benefits provided to the spouse or dependents of a retired worker 65 or over, regardless of whether benefits for the retiree are changed.

Employers and some unions contend that retirees under 65 have a greater need for employer-sponsored health benefits because they are generally not Medicare-eligible. Large employers have often provided some health benefits to retirees 65 and older, to help cover costs not paid by Medicare. But employers have for years been trying to reduce retiree benefits or to shift more of the cost to retirees.

Lawyers for the commission said the new Medicare drug benefit, now nearing the end of its second year, had strengthened the case for the regulation because it guaranteed that retirees 65 and older would have access to drug coverage. Younger retirees have no such guarantee, so employers may want to provide drug coverage to them in particular, the lawyers said.

Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers, welcomed the rule.

“If employers could not coordinate with Medicare, they would be far less likely to provide health coverage to retirees,” Ms. Darling said. THEY COULD NOT AFFORD TO.”

A study by the Government Accountability Office in 2001 estimated that one-third of large employers and fewer than one-tenth of small employers offered health benefits to retirees. Ms. Darling said newer retirees often received not comprehensive coverage but instead a fixed amount of money, based on years of service, to help them with their medical costs.

James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, a lobby for large employers, said: ԓThe new rule is a victory for common sense and for retirees. Retiree health coverage has been declining for many years. Without this rule, many more retirees, especially early retirees, could find themselves without employer-sponsored coverage.

Gerald M. Shea, assistant to the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., also saw merit in the new rule.

“Given the enormous cost pressures on employer-sponsored health benefits,” Mr. Shea said, “we support the flexibility reflected in the rule as a way to maximize our ability to maintain comprehensive coverage for active and retired workers.”

Schoolteachers, like many other public employees, often retire early and rely on employer-provided health benefits until they become eligible for Medicare. At a Congressional hearing in 2005, the National Education Association and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, who is now the House Republican leader, supported the proposed rule. The teachers union said it feared that employers would cut health benefits for early retirees if they had to provide identical benefits to those over 65 and those under.

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Posted by Elvis on 12/29/07 •
Section Pension Ripoff • Section Dying America
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