Another reason to avoid visiting Answers in Genesis

Those porn sites you've been browsing? They've been slurping in more of your private data than you think. A paper has been published documenting the invasive practices of many websites. They're doing something called history hijacking, using code that grabs your entire browsing history so they can monitor every site you've visited. Cute, huh? There are tools you can use to block this behavior if you're using Firefox, at least.

Several people have written to me about this because of Table 1 on page 9 of the paper. There among the porn and gaming and commercial sites one stands out as unusual. It's the only site with the category of "religion".

It's Answers in Genesis.

Yep, don't be surprised. Answers in Genesis wants to know where you've been.

Even better, a reader named Ivan extracted the sleazy history hijacking code from the AiG site. Wanna see it? It's actually rather amusing. I've put it below the fold.

Here's what's funny. They categorize users.

$(document).ready(function() {
var cookie = $.cookie('__utmv');

$("body").append("<div id='statExternalLinks' style='display:none'>" + 
// WEB2.0 USERS
 "<a href='http://del.icio.us/'>delicious</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://docs.google.com/'>googledocs</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.digg.com/'>digg</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.stumbleupon.com/'>stumbleupon</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.twitter.com/'>twitter</a>" + 
// COMMUNITY USERS
 "<a href='http://www.facebook.com/'>facebook</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.myspace.com/'>myspace</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.secondlife.com/'>secondlife</a>" +
// CREATIONIST GROUPIES
 "<a href='http://www.icr.org/'>icr</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.drdino.com/'>drdino</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://creationontheweb.com/'>cmi</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://creationresearch.org/'>crsq</a>" + 
// EVOLUTION NEWS FOLLOWERS
 "<a href='http://www.newscientist.com/'>newscientist</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.sciam.com/'>sciam</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://scienceblogs.com/'>scienceblogs</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/'>pzmeyer</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.talkorigins.org/'>talkorigins</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.richarddawkins.net/'>dawkins</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.ncseweb.org/'>ncse</a>" + 
// ID FOLLOWERS
 "<a href='http://www.uncommondescent.com/'>uncommondescent</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.evolutionnews.org/'>evonews</a>" + 
// MEDIA JUNKIES
 "<a href='http://www.youtube.com/'>youtube</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.godtube.com/'>godtube</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.flickr.com/'>flickr</a>" +
 "<a href='http://picasaweb.google.com/home'>picasa</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.vimeo.com/'>vimeo</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.hulu.com/'>hulu</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.apple.com/trailers'>movietrailers</a>" +
// ONLINE SHOPPERS
 "<a href='http://www.amazon.com/'>amazon</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.ebay.com/'>ebay</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.craigslist.org/'>craigslist</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.barnesandnoble.com/'>barnesnoble</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.walmart.com/'>walmart</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.target.com/'>target</a>" +
// "CHRISTIAN" USERS
 "<a href='http://www.gty.org/'>macarthur</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.sermonaudio.com/'>sermonaudio</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.christiananswers.net/'>christiananswers</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.biblegateway.com/'>biblegateway</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.focusonthefamily.com/'>focus</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.pluggedinonline.com/'>pluggedin</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.coralridge.org/'>coralridge</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.crosswalk.com/'>crosswalk</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.oneplace.com/'>oneplace</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.visionforum.com/'>visionforum</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.christianitytoday.com/'>ct</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.castingcrowns.com/'>castingcrowns</a>" +
// KIDS USERS
 "<a href='http://www.webkinz.com/us_en/'>webkinz</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.bigideafun.com/'>veggietales</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/'>cartoonnetwork</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.qubo.com/'>qubo</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.lego.com/'>lego</a>" +
 "<a href='http://mln.lego.com/en-us/privateview/default.aspx'>mylego</a>" +
 "<a href='http://disney.go.com/index'>disney</a>" +
 "<a href='http://disney.go.com/mypage/'>mydisney</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.clubhousemagazine.com/'>clubhouse</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.whitsend.org/'>whitsend</a>" +
 "<a href='http://www.cbhministries.org/home.php'>cbh</a>" +
 "<a href='http://kids4truth.com/'>kids4truth</a>" +
// OTHER
 "<a href='http://www.creationmuseum.org/'>museum</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.wired.com/'>wired</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/'>wikipedia</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.joelosteen.com/'>joelosteen</a>" + 
 "<a href='http://www.beliefnet.com/'>beliefnet</a>" + 
 "</div>");


var userVars = '';
if (cookie != undefined) userVars = cookie.split(".")[1];

$("#statExternalLinks a").each(function() {
var curSite = $(this).text();
var color = $(this).css("color");
if (userVars.indexOf(curSite) == -1 &&
(color == "rgb(130, 129, 207)" || 
color == "#8281CF" ||
color == "#8281cf")) {

if (userVars.length > 0) userVars += "|";
userVars += curSite;

}
});
$("#statExternalLinks").remove();
pageTracker._setVar(userVars);
});

Here are the categories they used:

WEB2.0 USERS

COMMUNITY USERS

CREATIONIST GROUPIES

EVOLUTION NEWS FOLLOWERS

ID FOLLOWERS

MEDIA JUNKIES

ONLINE SHOPPERS

"CHRISTIAN" USERS

KIDS USERS

OTHER

We're "Evolution News Followers". They flag you if you have also been reading New Scientist, SciAm, Scienceblogs, TalkOrigins, or the NCSE site, and two people get special attention: that rascal Dawkins and some guy named pzmeyer. So I'm sorry, but if you skedaddle on over to AiG after reading this, you're going to get labeled as one of those pzmeyer people.

I'm a little curious about the '"Christian" Users' category. Why are the Christians in quotation marks? Aren't they real Christians? But then Joel Osteen and Beliefnet get lumped into "Other".

I have no idea what they are doing with this information. If it were a porn site, I could understand it; when Ken Ham visits, for instance, they can scan his history and see what kind of preferences he has, and know to quickly entice him with pictures of naked piglets. But on AiG? Could they be using it to hide the really crazy stuff from people known to associate with Dawkins and pzmeyer? Maybe. I'm going to have to install the blocking tools and see what happens.

I'm a bit afraid that it will be like putting on the sunglasses in that Roddy Piper movie, They Live. Do I really want to see the unfiltered AiG?

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