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µTorrent Spyware/Adware Claims Refuted

Postby SlyckTom » Wed May 24, 2006 12:59 pm

µTorrent began as a BitTorrent favorite. Its small memory and CPU consumption footprint, coupled with a total package size of less than 1 megabyte and near-full functionality, gave few people a reason to complain against this BitTorrent client.

The honeymoon came to a screeching halt on February 28, 2006, when PeerFactor and µTorrent announced a six month deal to distribute authorized content online. This drew the ire of the µTorrent community, who remember the days when PeerFactor was affiliated with French anti-piracy company RetSpan. The two companies separated in late 2005 however, and the newly formed PeerFactor SARL are now working on P2P distribution software rather than anti-piracy technology, (although their website is still linked from the RetSpan homepage.)

The controversy blew over, and µTorrent avoided a disaster.

Being the magnet link for controversy it is however, µTorrent is once against finding itself the center of attention. This time, <a href= http://forum.utorrent.com/viewtopic.php?id=10074 target=_blank>reports</a> of third party software (adware, spyware) have begun to shake some of the µTorrent faithful.

The latest version of µTorrent, version 1.5, contains an integrated search feature. The end user can opt to search several of the major search engines, such as Mininova, ThePirateBay, TorrentSpy, and isoHunt. Once the search is conducted, an independent browser window is opened. Instead of going to the Mininova.org domain however, the browser is directed to NanoTorrent.com. Once redirected, the browser displays a 728x90 UseNext ad, along with the queired torrent files. UseNext is a newsgroup portal that offers “anonymous, uncensored access to Usenet.”

But does µTorrent’s affiliation with UseNext advertising earn the label of being an adware or spyware client?

Definitely not. When the P2P curious download µTorrent, they only receive the µTorrent client and nothing else. No tracking cookies, no data miners, and no Bonzi Buddies.

“Nothing else than µTorrent is installed, like it always has been,” Ludvig Strigeus told Slyck.com.

Once the banner ad appears, one may question whether information is subsequently collected via data miners or some other clandestine method. Reassuringly, the ads are simple HTML delivered banners via Ludvig’s owned NanoTorrent.com website.

“Nothing is placed on the user's machine [when the NanoTorrent browser opens,]” Ludvid explains. “It's an advertisement inside the web browser only, the ad comes from a webserver owned by me, and it's removed when the window is closed. No cookies at all are installed, not even my own…The ads are generated by the script on the webserver. The µTorrent client as such does not contain any ads. They are generated by the webserver and shown through a php script to the webbrowser when the user searches.”

The arrangement is part of a standard affiliate program, where µTorrent benefits financially whenever a new user signs up for UseNext. Additional testing found no evidence of any third party or malicious software. By comparison, it’s little different than conducting Google search via FireFox’s plugin. µTorrent may use ads to support development, however Ludvig's creation is not an adware client.

µTorrent took considerable effort to avoid including third party software in their client; and opted to keep the ads dedicated on an independent domain. Not every file-sharing client does this, and speaks volumes on µTorrent’s commitment to keep the reputation of their client intact.
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Postby nikt » Wed May 24, 2006 1:11 pm

BloodStaindHurricane wrote:

Probably another Az fan trying to ruin µtorrent. F*cking losers.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Wolffi » Wed May 24, 2006 1:19 pm

I never even used the integrated search so this is the first I've even heard or seen of this. A lot of noise over nothing it seems..
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Re: µTorrent Spyware/Adware Claims Refuted

Postby LD50% » Wed May 24, 2006 1:23 pm

SlyckTom wrote:µTorrent took considerable effort to avoid including third party software in their client; and opted to keep the ads dedicated on an independent domain. Not every file-sharing client does this, and speaks volumes on µTorrent’s commitment to keep the reputation of their client intact.


Yeah, but before that, one wonders why the hell they din't think about what they did BEFORE they did it..........and with WHO they did it...... jeeez, it's not rocket science is it? They blew it, simple, end of.... :?
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Postby timmyfl » Wed May 24, 2006 1:52 pm

µTorrent was steadily becoming the most popular BT client out there thanks in part to whole Bitcomet thing with the private tags (gay private sites) second only Azureus. They just had to fuck it up. I really have no favorite BT client, more of a situtional user. When gaming I need something very light on resources so bitcomet and utorrent were great, when I needed a variety of options Azereus is good, and for superseeding I used in the past Bittornado. I dropped µTorrent like a bad habit and use Azureus for my primary downloading with Bitcomet for gaming purposes. Its a shame that Ludvid doesnt just think about some of the decisions he makes. P2P users are a wily bunch and he should have known this would catch peoples eye. I havent gone to the utorrent site in while nor do I plan to but, I have seen Usernext pop-ups before. Theres a certain german based site I go to that deals with bittorrent hacks (again fuck private sites rules) and they have had this pop-up with whom I believe is Jesse Capelli (my porn is abit rusty) and some guy that looks like a Bill Lamburgh reject. If thats the pop-up in mention its no big deal.
Last edited by timmyfl on Wed May 24, 2006 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Repzak » Wed May 24, 2006 2:04 pm

What one would need "bells and whistles" for on a Torrent client is beyond me? But to each his own. I'm not a big user of Bittorrent - in fact it's been a long time since last, but if I had to pick something there is little doubt that it'd be uTorrent. The simple fact that it can keep running no matter if I'm gaming, watching a video or anything else without any harm is a priceless boon for ANY p2p app.

The fact that so far it's also kept its integrity also matters of course - noone complains about Googleads so why should one complain over this less intrusive system?
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Postby Firon » Wed May 24, 2006 4:02 pm

timmyfl: we don't have popups on our website, and there's none in the search either.

And for the remaining people who are still concerned about the ads showing up with their searches, the next beta (and subsequent releases) will have an option to bypass nanotorrent altogether.

LD50%: what are you talking about?
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Postby obscur156 » Wed May 24, 2006 4:57 pm

interesting but now i dont care anymore cause i dont use UTORRENT anymore and i will never use it again.
:evil:
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Postby movieguy » Wed May 24, 2006 5:22 pm

I think its funny to read you guys when you say I dont trust the µ anymore cause of this, and yet im sure ALL of you go to public BT sites with alot more advertising.....dont you think that is an oxymoron?
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Postby SlyckScratch » Wed May 24, 2006 5:37 pm

I have no problem whatsoever with Ludde trying to make a few coins from some advertising. I'd rather UseNext wasn't involed but if the money helps to ensure uTorrent's future, so be it.
I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' To tell the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement - but as I deal in English, the most powerful language in the world with subtle nuances that may blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' Well do you punk?
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Postby nikt » Wed May 24, 2006 5:40 pm

Usenext ads are more like reason to disgust not distrust.I can perfectly understand creators willingness to profit from his work somehow.Utorrent sure is a nice piece of programming and deserves support. Teaming up with usenext on the other hand is bad , it is a scam site for gods sake.And if there`s noone else who`s ready to pay , there should be :
- easy way to turn off ads while they are enabled by default.
- information about so called usenext "free trial"
In any case dealing with scammers will always hurt reputation. Even if utorrent will be clean , fast , free and good looking.

I`m using it myself
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Postby IceCube » Wed May 24, 2006 5:44 pm

Better UseNext then blatently obvious scams that only the p2p knowledge impaired would fall for I think.
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Postby Nick » Wed May 24, 2006 5:45 pm

Shock, horror! Headlines read "software developer tries to make money in return for thousands of hours of hard work"!

I agree with you completely, Scratch. Just because many people devote a huge amount of their time to P2P for no return, doesn't mean that everyone has to or can afford to.

Those who are so quick to criticise Ludde (or anyone else who tries to make a little return for their endeavours) obviously don't have to pay to put their food on the table. Lucky people, but that's not the way things work in the real world.

Some people want everything for free, and then expect the right to be critical.
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Postby abou105 » Wed May 24, 2006 5:45 pm

SlyckScratch wrote:I have no problem whatsoever with Ludde trying to make a few coins from some advertising. I'd rather UseNext wasn't involed but if the money helps to ensure uTorrent's future, so be it.


i dont think anything more is needed to be said.
Information is so valuable in todays society, its understandable people want to lock it up, but the internet is about freedom of information, lets not take that away.
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Postby ShawnSpree » Wed May 24, 2006 5:46 pm

I dont use uTorrent, and I dont go to public sites.. Actually firefox blocks everything, adpages, flashpages. Everything. I like ABC, but they need more improvements on the next version and bring back superseed feature.
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Postby darkened » Wed May 24, 2006 5:55 pm

I use uTorrent I am very happy with it. The in program search bar is useful when I can't find anything I want on mininova/boxtorrents since its the only firefox search plugins I have for torrents.

uTorrent is blazing fast, rock solid stable insanely small foot print.

Any one that wants to bitch about his search forwarding page having 1 single banner on it, or for any work he is or considered taking upon outside of uTorrent development needs to pipe down and show some respect. or just go back to kazaa
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Postby Fusen » Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 pm

is this even worthy news?
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Postby MrFredPFL » Wed May 24, 2006 6:02 pm

thanks to google, slyck has had ads for countless p2p scams. where's all the righteous indignation over that? would i like to see slyck not have those ads? you're damn well right i would. do i consider slyck to be damaged goods as a result? well duh, i'm here ;)
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Postby movieguy » Wed May 24, 2006 6:15 pm

All this does is give AZ people something to bitch about, and be like see I told you my bloatware is better......thats all who are dissin it, and besides if you are stupid enough to click on those links, then you deserve to get hit by the spam and spyware
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Postby Assyrian » Wed May 24, 2006 7:36 pm

Every BT client made is shit. I switch every month. None are perfect.
away.
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Postby IceCube » Wed May 24, 2006 8:16 pm

Why are AZ people even mentioned in this thread? :?
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Postby Fartingbob » Wed May 24, 2006 8:31 pm

obscur156 wrote:interesting but now i dont care anymore cause i dont use UTORRENT anymore and i will never use it again.
:evil:

Ummm, ok. Why is that? Are you so paranoid that you think the old peerfactor is secretly watching you when you use uTorrent even though they have nothing to do with anti-piracy? Are you so paranoid about adware you wont use a client that if you use the search function will take you to a site with *gasp* a banner?

I understnad why people prefer some clients over others, but to blindly refuse to use one for no apparent reason just doesnt make sense....
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Postby Alex H » Wed May 24, 2006 8:36 pm

MrFredPFL wrote:thanks to google, slyck has had ads for countless p2p scams. where's all the righteous indignation over that? would i like to see slyck not have those ads? you're damn well right i would. do i consider slyck to be damaged goods as a result? well duh, i'm here ;)


Well said.

Ads are a fact of life when you're not paying money for something like uTorrent or Slyck or isoHunt or p2pnet or AfterDawn or...any of the millions of sites with Google ads on them.

Stil, nice to see Slyck investigating claims about uTorrent.
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Postby zim » Wed May 24, 2006 8:37 pm

i dont see these ads at all.

maybe thats because i blocked usenext right at the hosts file.

since usenext is a scam.
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Postby Firon » Wed May 24, 2006 8:57 pm

IceCube: every BT-related thread brings out fans/detractors of each client. :P
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