It’s funny, in the last couple days 180solutions had a blog post that was somewhat… what’s the term I’m looking for ? well they were quite defensive and concerned about “anti-spyware zealots” about “Scanning companies” and trying to work with them to explain their business model. Of course, legal action is not something they want to pursue, but if the business talks with the scanning companies fail, well it’s an option. Some months ago they claimed to be trying to clean up their act. Supposedly they were to crack down on “affiliates” using unscrupulous means to spread their ad content.
no notice and no consent through a security exploit. From a crack site, too. Nice. Way. To. Go.
A bit more also at Spyware Confidential
So much for the attempt to become respectable, please try again… Installing without a EULA is irresponsible. Installing without consent crosses the ethical line, installing through a security vulnerability is essentially cracking.
I almost forgot the second thing I was going to mention in this post. Acoona, a toolbar maker has sent a letter to Sunbelt threatening them with a lawsuit. They’re upset about their toolbar’s classification by Sunbelt’s scanning software. (Sunbelt has a contact form on their page if you’re a software maker to contact them about such issues, but I guess they figured lawyers need something to do…)
Anyway, I was talking to a customer lately that was relatively up-to-speed on anti-spyware software and talking about the problems an individual anti-spyware writer would face, or a small company in terms of legal threats from the makers of the stuff. Now, I don’t know much about Acoona other than what I’ve read on the Sunbelt site, I don’t recall having cleaned that off a system before, it may be perfectly innocent. However, from what they cite it’s been noted to be difficult to uninstall (in previous versions) and is usually bundled in software targetting kids.
How many lawsuits are there against companies that make adware that’s so pesky and hard to remove they had to hire someone to do so? Maybe that should be a new trend to keep their lawyers busy.
Oh – and buy the way… back to 180solutions… they’ve filed suit against zonelabs (makers of zonealarm.) PDF link at the sunbelt site here. This ought to be fun.
Coverage at Spyware Confidential.
–update 12:01 am EST –12/2/05–
Spyware warrior has the response from 180solutions to the above site that was installing 180solutions software through a security vulnerability with no consent. It sounds like they shut down the affiliate responsible. Also, they’ve tried to make an easy way for affected users to uninstall. I hope we can continue to see such responses/enforcement of good ethical practices. If so, they’ll eventually gain a bit of respect. We can hope. I’d LOVE to see them shut down anyone using such means to install their software so quickly and give all of their users an easy way to uninstall.
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