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How to obtain results returned from URL

I am trying to build an sforce control (WIL) in javascript that will allow our service reps to test the customer's equipment directly from Salesforce.  The control will get the serial number from Salesforce and pass it as a parm in a URL (know how to do that).  The URL is a utlity function (ip address/function/parm) that takes in the serial number, performs the test and returns the test results in XML format.  Ultimately we would want to analyze the results and display a red/yellow/green light to the rep.  

The problem I am having is that I can't figure out how to call the URL and capture the results in javascript.  I have tried using the XMLHTTPRequest function but get a security error.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.