Hoping to cash in on the current climate surrounding online surveillance, Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc. on Thursday released a fully redesigned version of its Freedom Privacy and Security Tools.
Designed to be a comprehensive security package, Freedom 3.0 includes a personal firewall, form filler/password manager and cookie manager, among other features.
The form filler/password manager is similar to Microsoft Corp.s Passport service in that it enables users to store and encrypt log-in information and passwords. The difference is that Freedom users store the data on their own machines, whereas Passports data is stored on Microsoft servers.
The form filler feature gives users the ability to complete Web forms with one click using their stored personal information. It can also generate random data for forms on which the user would rather not use his or her own information, company officials said.
There is also an integrated keyword alert feature that scans outbound e-mail for a set of keywords and prevents personal data from being mailed out by mass-mailing viruses and other malicious code.
Freedom 3.0 hits the market at an opportune time for Montreal-based Zero-Knowledge. The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill that lowers the standard of judicial review for collecting Internet transactional data. The bill would also allow police agencies to intercept some communications of hackers.
Zero-Knowledges new suite also includes a cookie manager that enables users to select which cookies they download, as well as an ad manager capable of eliminating banner ads.
The cookie manager can also prevent Web sites from dropping activity-tracking code known as "Web bugs" on users PCs.
Conspicuous by its absence in the new Freedom release is the companys highly regarded anonymity service. The feature enabled users to send and receive e-mails anonymously, cloaking their true identities through the use of pseudonyms. The messages were passed through a large network of computers on the way to their destinations, cloaking the IP address of the senders machine.
Freedom 3.0 is available now for $49.95.