TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Can't Trust Spyware Protection?

Re: Can't Trust Spyware Protection?
29 Sep 2005 08:02:41 -0700

Andrew Brandt wrote:

> Claria and WhenU are making the case that their adware programs don't
> resort to illegal tactics, such as exploiting security holes, to
> install themselves. And though this software can be annoying, adware
> developers argue that merely being listed in an anti-spyware scanner's
> database tarnishes a company's reputation by linking its relatively
> benign adware application with far more harmful and intrusive spyware
> programs.

Those companies claiming their spyware is "benign" ought to be shut
down and its management thrown in prison.

No one should have any right whatsoever to go onto our computers
without our expressed (not implied or default) consent. "Annoying" is
NOT "benign"; annoying is harassment.

The analogy would be demanding the right to sneak into your living
room and claiming it's ok because they'll just sit there and not steal
or touch anything. They'll still in your living room.

Can anyone defend these companies?

Why can't the operating systems be set up to block them out?

> According to Avi Naider of WhenU, though some other adware companies
> will track your Web meanderings and sell that data, WhenU's privacy
> policy doesn't permit it to track the search queries that users type
> or the Web pages that they browse.

So this guy is peaking in my window, and promising he won't share the
pictures of me naked? I'm supposed to feel better about that?

> It's unfair to permanently blacklist a company based on its past
> behavior ...

Why is that so unfair? If an individual committed a crime, that crime
remains on their record for life and will blacklist them from a great
many jobs places to live for life. Why should a company not suffer
the same consequences for sleazyness? (And companies don't go to

> Delisting is rare because, Edelman says, anti-spyware firms "stand up
> to strongly worded demand letters."

We need computer privacy laws so that such 'demand letters' would be
laughed at.

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