TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: U.S. FTC Sues New Hampshire 'Spyware' Operation

Re: U.S. FTC Sues New Hampshire 'Spyware' Operation

Barry Margolin (
Thu, 06 Oct 2005 19:23:18 -0400

In article <>,

> Reuters News Wire wrote:

>> Those infected with Odysseus' spyware have their search results
>> corrupted as well, the FTC said. When they try to use a search engine
>> like Yahoo or Google, they are steered to a look-alike page that
>> prominently lists Odysseus clients in the results.
>> Those who use an Odysseus software tool to remove the spyware only
>> draw more unwanted programs on to their computers, the FTC said.

> The practices described are outright fraud.

> I wonder what kind of people work as programmers for these kinds of
> outfits. I used to think -- obviously incorrectly -- that computer
> programmers had some level of ethics and would use their skills and
> gifts for good, not evil.

Why would you expect programmers to be different from the rest of
humanity? There are evil people in all walks of life. I'd expect
priests to be the epitome of morality, yet we have all those child
abuse scandals.

> It's too bad the programming profession never developed widely
> recognized codes of ethics and professional standards like CPAs or
> PEs.

Organizations like ACM do publish codes of ethics. Buta code of
ethics has little force if the profession doesn't require licensing.
And even if it does, why would a malware company care whether their
employees are licensed? It would be like not hiring an assasin
because he couldn't get a proper gun license.

> I think the programmers ought to be prosecuted as accomplices in
> creating of fraud. Likewise for those who create spam systems.

> Can anyone make a case to defend the programmers who do such garbage?

I could be wrong, but I assumed these programs were written by the bad
guys themselves, they didn't hire programmers to do it. Then they
sell their programs to other bad guys.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***

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