I got this chain letter with at least 1,000 names on it....Fellow AOL 
Subscribers,  Here is a letter which was sent to me and several other AOL 
subscribersabout the new Version of American Online 4.0 which is going to 
come out thiswinter. With this new version of AOL anyone who works at AOL 
can access ANYfiles on your computers hard drive anytime while you are 
online. Thisincludes any financial information, email, pictures, programs, 
privateinformation, or any data on your harddrive. Please read the following 
letterfrom a now fired AOL employee who has sacrificed his job to warn all 
of usabout this horrible invasion of privacy. We must all work together to 
spreadthis information to EVERY America Online subscriber! If we all work 
togetherwe can FORCE America Online to rewrite their new 4.0 version without 
the"cookie program" that invades your privacy.   After you read this letter 
remember to forward it to as many people on AOLas possible. Not just your 
friends and family but EVERYBODY. Do a search onthe member directory of a 
major city and forward it to EVERYONE. Our goal isto email EVERY LAST AOL 
MEMBER. Also remember to email AOL as well aboutthis!  Lets FLOOD their 
email boxes as well and force them to rewrite the AOLprogram without this 
"cookie program" that invades our privacy. Of course wecannot be 100 percent 
sure that this AOL employees claim is  totally true butif there is even a 
.001% chance it is true we must alert EVERY AOL user aboutthis!     From a 
former AOL employee:  I'll try and cut through the crap, and try to get to 
the point of this  letter.  I used to work for America Online, and would 
like to remain  anonymous for that reason.  I was laid off in early 
September, but I  know exactly why I was laid off, which I will now explain: 
 Since last December, I had been one of the many people assigned to  design 
AOL 4.0 for Windows  (AOL 4.0 beta, codenamed Casablanca).  In  the 
beginning, I was very proud of this task, until I found out the true  cost 
of it.  Things were going fine until about mid-February, when me  and 2 of 
my colleagues started to suspect a problem, an unexplainable  'Privacy 
Invasion', with the new version.  One of them, who is a master  programmer, 
copied the finished portion of the new version (Then 'Build  52'), and took 
it home, and we spent nearly 2 weeks of sleepless nights  examining and 
debugging the program, flipping it inside-out, and here is  what we found. 
 Unlike all previous versions of America Online, version 4.0 puts  something 
in your hard drive called a 'cookie'.  (AOL members click here for a  definition).  
However, the cookie we found on Version 4.0 was far more  treacherous than 
the simple internet cookie.  How would you like  somebody looking at your 
entire hard drive, snooping through any (yes,  any) piece of information on 
your hard drive.  It could also read your  password and log in information 
and store it deep in the program code.   Well, all previous versions, 
whether you like it or not, have done this  to a certain extent, but only 
with files you downloaded.  As me and my  colleagues discovered, with the 
new version, anytime you are signed on  to AOL, any top aol executive, any 
aol worker, who has been sworn to  secrecy regarding this feature, can go 
into your hard drive and retrieve  any piece of information that they so 
desire.  Billing, download  records, e-mail, directories, personal 
documents, programs, financial  information, scanned images, etc ... Better 
start keeping all those  pictures on a floppy disk!  This is a totally 
disgusting violation of our rights, and your right to  know as well.  Since 
this is undoubtably 'Top Secret' information that I  am revealing, my life 
at AOL is pretty much over.  After discovering  this information, we started 
to inform a few other workers at America  Online, so that we could get a 
large enough crew to stop this from  happening to the millions of 
unfortunate and unsuspecting America Online  members.  This was in early 
August.  One month later, all three of us  were unemployed.  We got 
together, and figured there was something we  had to do to let the public 
know.    Unemployed, with one of us going through a divorce (me) and another 
who  is about to undergo treatment for Cancer, our combined financial  
situation is not currently enough to release any sort or article.  We  
attepted to create a web page on three different servers containing  
in-depth information on AOL 4.0, but all three were taken down within 2  
days.  We were running very low on time (4.0 is released early this  
winter), so we figured our last hope to reveal this madness before it  
effects the people was starting something similar to a chain letter,  this 
letter you are reading.  Please do the following, to help us expose  AOL for 
who they really are, and to help us and yourself recieve  personal 
gratification for taking a stand for our freedom:  1.  Forward this letter 
to as many people as you can (not just friends  and family, as many as you 
can!)  2.  Tell people who aren't on America Online in person, especially  
important people (Private Investigators, Government workers, City  Council) 
 3.  If the information about the new version isn't exposed by the time  aol 
is released early this winter, for your own protection, DON'T  DOWNLOAD AOL 
4.0 UNDER ANY CONDITION !!!  Thank you for reading and examining this 
information.  Me and my  colleagues hope that you will help us do the right 
thing in this  situation.  Enjoy America Online (just kidding!).  Regards, A 
former AOL employee