Spyware Companies Trying To Act Legit By Bribing Anti-Spyware Companies

from the best-practices? dept

Last week, we wrote about Direct Revenue, a spyware/adware company that kept claiming that it was trying to be transparent, when all of the evidence suggested otherwise. One of the execs of the company quoted in the article kept using the excuse that they offered their very own anti-spyware cleanup system that would remove products, as if that was a defense. Well, it appears that others in the spyware/adware/malware space are looking to co-opt the anti-spyware offerings, sometimes with what looks very much like bribery. Broadband Reports points to WhenU’s agreement with an anti-spyware company, whereby that anti-spyware product will no longer remove WhenU, even though WhenU hasn’t actually changed the product, plenty of people have no clue they installed it and they aren’t happy that it’s there. WhenU and other spyware companies have apparently been approaching plenty of anti-spyware vendors with deals to get free publicity if they agree to stop designating their products as spyware. Wouldn’t it just be easier to set up the products so that they never install without permission and are completely upfront about what the products actually do? That would seem a much better path to getting out of anti-spyware programs.

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Comments on “Spyware Companies Trying To Act Legit By Bribing Anti-Spyware Companies”

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acousticiris says:

Forget spyware... have you read any license agreem

Reality check: no company’s license agreement is really “transparent” And even when it is, at what point are we going to be satisfied? Have you read your click-through for Windows? It’s insane.
I don’t really blame the spyware folks for burying their true intentions in legal-ease…everyone else is doing it. And they have to cover themselves for so many other possible situations that by the time you get that “click-through” license out, it is a 14 page print-out that nobody is going to read.
I don’t disagree that they are being deceptive in their practice, but have you read the “warnings” on any average product that you purchase? I have a hair dryer that actually warns against using it while sleeping.
There are plenty of *very useful* warnings on that same page (such as not using the hair dryer to dry paint, or allowing the product to come in direct content with wet hair), but you’d have to spend half of the day reading the side of the box to understand just how dangerous this product could be.
Even the GPL…my favourite of software licenses… is not exactly toilet-reading. You have to take it apart. And those who do a good job of making it clear (such as the folks at CreativeCommons) have to have a separate DISCLAIMER to tell you that the nice pretty icons and three sentence explanations are only there for clarity and don’t truly represent any kind of legally binding contract (in otherwords, read the legal-ease if you want to know what the license is really all about)

Jake says:

Re: Forget spyware... have you read any license ag

“I have a hair dryer that actually warns against using it while sleeping.”

Uh, on a tag that’s half an inch wide in four lines of text.

Claria’s Gator EULA takes up nealy 60 virtual pages, and includes such jems as you aren’t allowed to use anti-spyware apps, or packet sniffers to analyze the network traffic your own PC creates.

Don’t defend these people, they’re ethically challenged scumbags using system exploits to pound the web with ads nobody asked for (in the process slowing down your PC)…..

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