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SafeWeb goes down for the count

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Following the regrettable loss of ZKS (ZeroKnowledge Systems) Freedom network, popular Web proxy SafeWeb has now discontinued its free, anonymous surf portal.

Services like these, however desirable, are bandwidth hogs, and it's not exactly a shock to see them going by the wayside. Regrettable yes, but not surprising.

SafeWeb is out of commission for one of two reasons. Yesterday, the explanation focused on the imminent demise of SafeWeb's co-lo due to insolvency:

Dear SafeWeb Users,

We apologize for our recent quality of service. Since the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of our west coast co-location provider (ISP), we have been routing all of our traffic through our secondary server farm in New York City. This smaller server farm has become overloaded, resulting in increased latency, downtime, and generally poor performance.

For the time being, we are turning off our free consumer service. In the future, we may relaunch the service on a subscription basis. Please check back for more details. Thank you for your patronage.

Best wishes,
SafeWeb Team

Today it appears due to a company-wide refocus of resources on forthcoming products:

Dear SafeWeb Users,

We apologize for our recent quality of service. We have been reassessing the prospects of our online consumer privacy business as our focus has shifted to enterprise applications of our technology. For the time being, we have decided to turn off the free privacy service. In the future, we may re-launch the service on a subscription basis. We invite you to check back at a future date to find out more.

SafeWeb has worked hard over the past two years to provide Internet users with the most effective and easy-to-use free online privacy solution. We have succeeded to this end. Thanks to our loyal users, we quickly grew to become the most widely used online privacy service in the world and the proud recipient of numerous awards for our technology.

Over the past two years, we have also been working on a technological solution for security concerns in the corporate IT space. Our new enterprise security product, the Secure Extranet Appliance (SEA), builds on the strength and reliability of SafeWeb's proven consumer privacy technology. The SEA is currently in beta and will be available for qualified enterprise clients by the end of the year. For more information on the SafeWeb SEA, please visit our corporate Website or send inquiries to sales@safeweb.com.

SafeWeb supports the online privacy and security rights of Internet users worldwide. It has been an honor for all of us at SafeWeb to have been a part of this important issue. For more information about online privacy, you can visit the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy and Technology Websites.

Best wishes,
The SafeWeb Team

Make of it what you will. But don't forget that the Anonymizer Web proxy is still up -- for now anyway; and don't forget to check out the tips for do-it-yourself Net anonymity we posted here. Looks like you're going to need them. ®

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