Anti-Spyware Companies Debate Blocking ISP-Injected Advertising

from the the-battle-continues dept

With a growing number of ISPs using services from companies like Phorm and NebuAd to inject ads into your web browsing based on your surfing habits, anti-spyware companies are starting to take notice and debate whether or not they should start blocking some of these activities. While there's no downloaded software, these services all use cookies to track your surfing habits, and anti-spyware offerings could certainly step in and block those cookies or more proactively warn users that their surfing data is being used in this manner. Considering how hard Phorm has worked to shed the "spyware" label it had been given in a previous life, the company can't be too pleased to hear about this development. Of course, it's probably more concerned with questions being raised about whether or not its service is even legal.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 9:18pm

    error in the 5th line, they're should be their

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 9:22pm

    Phorm == ScumBags

    Phorm and their ilk can kiss my ass.

    I may not be able to stop their man in the midddle attacks, but I certainly can stop their advertising from reaching my screen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    mike allen, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 11:30pm


    the question is does anyone really buy stuff advertised on line. i guess someone must. i know this though if i found them doing with my site and advertising a rival company then id seu their ass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    zcat, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 11:37pm

    fuck 'em, the OSS tools will

    If my ISP starts doing shit like this, I'll switch ISPs. But if that's not an option, I sure as hell expect a firefox plugin that either blocks this or floods it to make the data worthless. Come to think of it, I recall someone mentioned exactly such a plugin the FIRST time I even read of this..

    Yay for software driven by what USERS want and not some corporate agenda..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 11:47pm

    It's Lawsuit Time!

    I smell a FIBM war a-comin'...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 2:11am

    Why are ISPs openly hacking websites?

    Why are ISPs openly hacking websites?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Greg, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 2:30am

    Shut'em Down

    I have no sympathy for Adware (aka spyware or virus) or my ISP who smears my "rented" homepage with junk ads I can't remove. Take a hint Embarq and sacred no more Earthlink, keep the crap including your nose out of my house! Embarq has a local monopoly here limiting my choices but they'll get no good free speech from me until they let me turn it off. I'm sick of people who think they know what's "good" for others because it fills their pockets. Free choice baby . . . that's good. I'd buy software to block them in a nanosecond! If I ever have a choice . . I'm gone!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Paul`, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 3:28am

    I'd pay for it

    Well, if my ISP decided to try this shit on me I would change so fast. But if that wasn't an option if pay for software to block it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 5:56am

    This is a good example of...

    ...trying to keep up with your market, instead of jus complaining when your market goes elsewhere. Security companies contstantly have to update your software and maybe this makes them more open to the idea of adding new features to get more money, as opposed to just asking for more money. I would certainly pay money to stop that if it became a problem. Luckily my ISP, though otherwise shitful, doesn't do that sort of thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    inc, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 7:22am

    If ISPs want safe harbors doesn't that also mean they shouldn't fuck with the traffic coming down stream? This is like you talking to your friend then all of a sudden you hear an add in your friend's voice. You know it's an ad but wtf is your friend saying it. Meanwhile your friend never said anything and never got a kick back for his credibility being used up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    wolfy, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 10:46am

    Re: Error in 5th line

    No error. The usage is correct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Wolfy, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Error in 5th line

    Oops. My bad. It was corrected before I read the article. Shutting up, now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    James, Apr 29th, 2008 @ 3:55pm

    they spring it on you

    Remember when Netzero actually cost $0. Now you pay a monthly fee for ads all over your screen. These companies don't care about the quality of service you get. Because they know that there is always gonna be a sucker to pay $19.95 a month for ad injected internet services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Embarq_LamontL, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Shut'em Down

    Hello Greg,

    This is a message from Lamont with Embarq Customer Support. We would first like to thank you for your business and apologize for any frustration you are having with the Embarq service. Please review this link,124583-page,1/article.html . The information in the article may help you to secure your browsing. We also do provide the option to opt out of the Embarq ISP advertising. If you clear your cookies you will be opted back in, until you opt out again. Please reply to the following email address with your phone number if you have any additional concerns about this issue. We strive for complete customer satisfaction and with your help we can improve our service. Thank you for using Embarq, your complete communications solution.

    Lamont L.
    Embarq Customer Support
    For additional support please visit or call 1-877-646-3282
    Voice | Data | Internet | Wireless | Entertainment

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    To the fool at (Embarq Customer Support) why would anybody want to give you even more information.

    Why not use a opt in option instead of an opt out one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    did I read that right, May 28th, 2008 @ 4:48am

    Just plain stupid

    like above my initial post is towards the fool at Embarq Customer Support, do you not feel an op in policy would better suit users? Considering my cookies and other session data get cleared on a regular basis, I was also under the impression it was good PC practice to keep cookies clean and limited. This endless opting in everytime you clear your cookies is absolute disgrace. Thank god my ISP is not ding this, oh wait im from the UK using BT and it looks as though they are, aw well time to switch ISP's. But my hat goes off to anti virus companies who are thinking of combating this Phorm and Nebuad problem, even though it will mean extra revenue I would gladly pay it to keep my data secure (something we should be trusting out ISP's to do without question!!!)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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