How Does Direct Revenue Like Transparency Now?

from the transparency,-transparency,-transparency dept

In late 2004, spyware/adware/malware firm DirectRevenue was quoted in an MSNBC article claiming that, despite its dark past, thanks to having raised some venture capital, the company was shedding its evil ways and was all about “transparency, transparency, transparency”. This rang extremely hollow, especially as MSNBC followed up by revealing some of the history of the company, which included frequent name changes to hide from its bad reputation, hijacking affiliate fees, and (of course) incredibly nasty and surreptitious installs of their software. Last year, the company claimed it had turned over a new leaf again with a new CEO, but security researchers found the software to be just as bad and problematic. The response from the company was to “go on the offensive” against anti-spyware vendors who wouldn’t take them at their word that their software wasn’t a problem. Now it’s beginning to look like the situation was even worse than originally believed. Earlier this week, we noted that Eliot Spitzer had gone after the company and Ben Edelman has now been giving the company plenty of “transparency” by posting many of the documents filed in the case. Some of the initial reviews of the documents are quite damning, as the company was not just overtly aware that it was installing its software surreptitiously, but seemed positively gleeful about it. Apparently, they even had a “Dark Arts” department to help “increase stealth” of the software. The documents apparently also reveal that the company had tracked down a lot of identifying information on the people who were fighting the good fight helping people remove their software — and even discussed how to intimidate or threaten at least one such person. Even more interesting is that much of this appears to have happened well after the company claimed it was all about “transparency, transparency, transparency.” Perhaps that’s why so many of us have such little faith when these companies claim they’re going straight. In the meantime, though, we wonder how the company feels about “transparency” now that it really has been forced upon them?

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Comments on “How Does Direct Revenue Like Transparency Now?”

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PopeRatzo says:

Who is Ben Edelman? When you write articles like this, using a simple modifying noun like “New York Attorney General..” before “Eliot Spitzer” and “whoever the heck it is” before “Ben Edelman” would improve the readability.

Don’t assume everyone knows every detail about every story. If we did, we wouldn’t need your story in the first place.

anon says:

this site needs moderation

without moderation this site only serves one purpose – teasers for a real discussion about the same story to be posted on slashdot later in the day.

I’m loving the content, and you’re clearly bringing it in fast. The look of the site is nice, but the inability to dodge the children makes it painful to read past the story – and the discussion/comments are much of the draw to a site like this for me.

If all you’re going for is the pay per impression on the ads, I suppose you don’t really care, but I’ll only click through to a headline that is REALLY interesting on the site since I know that’s the only thing that will be here of much value. (save the first comment in this thread +1 useful/good advice). Contrast that to similar sites (/.), where I’ll click through to almost every headline just to read the comments.

I suppose its a chicken and egg problem – can’t get good comments/discussion without readers, but I posit you aren’t going to grab a ton of readers without the flexibility to hide the crap… keep going though !

Dirk says:

Re: this site needs moderation

Exactly. I read slashdot for the comments, even though i’ve probably already seen the article or read the news elsewhere. I wanna see the commentary. Slashdot draws a lot of well-educated and intelligent people, and the trolls/idiots/spammers get modded down. I get to see the good stuff.

discojohnson says:

Re: Re: this site needs moderation

techdirt isn’t /. though, folks. if you want slashdot2, you might be SOL. i agree that the childish remarks are distracting; however, welcome to freedom of speech (+1 flamebait exists everywhere). take the good and the bad and try to see through the 13yr old’s chosen words and see their point–and knock it down with *gasp* discussion.

AJ says:


If I run over a mailbox in your front yard, I expect to have to pay for it. Not just for the mailbox itself, but the time it will take you to fix it. I am responsible for “cleaning” the garbage off our offices computers from these assholes. Now I know, the first argument is, “why then, do you let them put it there in the first place” my answer is as always. Our company believes in unmonitored internet, and workstations. As a result, our people stay longer and work harder, i guess they dont feel like “big bro” is on their back. But my point is, that is no different than me telling my neibor to put up a fence if he doesnt want his mailbox run over. If they would pass a law that said i could send them a bill, with the copy of their software i removed from my machines, this shit would stop.

Mike says:

Fat fuck faces aside

My real name is Bob. I’m hoping that the fat fuck face comment was left by someone other than the article’s author, Mike. Maybe some modetrating is necessary. If I can post comments as Mike and tarnish his name, anyone can. But we may never know if the article’s author has lost his professionalism, unless he can post something to demystify me. Otherwise, I think I’ll unsubscribe from this feed. That kind of exchange is, well, fucked up.

Would the real Mike care to comment?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Fat fuck faces aside

Would the real Mike care to comment?

Um. The insulting post was not me and I have the log files to prove it. šŸ™‚ Anyway, all of my comments have my name linked back to Techdirt.

We do watch the comments, and if someone is misrepresenting themselves as a Techdirt person, we will remove the post or at least clarify that the person is not associated with us.

herman says:

How comes that 95% of firstposters can't read, onl


STWF: click here!

as I assume, you don’t know how to handle a web search, simply click this link:

google search: Ben Edelman

or reread the article and follow this link:

Ben Edelman has now been giving the company plenty of “transparency” by posting many of the documents filed in the case

I fully agree with the 2nd comment, and congratulate comment #15 to be the first one on topic.

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