Big Brother Was Listening

Real Networks' online-jukebox software turns out to be not buggy but bugged

"Say it ain't so, Rob!" I whine into the telephone at Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of Real Networks. I am very agitated, O.K.? I admit it. Last week The New York Times broke a story reporting that RealJukebox, one of the most popular pieces of music-playing software on the Net, is a secret spy!

It turns out that the program--used by more than 13 million people around the world, including me--has been tracking our music-listening habits, recording the titles of the CDs we play and beaming the information back to headquarters. Whenever we go online, a sneaky little subroutine...

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