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The Fight Against Spyware
November 24, 2003
Thomas Mennecke
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Third party applications such as spyware and adware have made their presence well known in the P2P community. While such applications exist in many types of software, an entire anti-culture has grown around it, seeking the elimination this unwelcome pest.

The CDT (Center for Democracy & Technology), is a Washington organization that "promotes democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age." From browsing the site, it appears very similar in nature to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation.) The organization addresses important issues such as electronic privacy, Broadcast Flag technology and the proliferation of spam.

The latest issue, and perhaps one of the most important, is the infiltration of spyware into the Internet community. As many will attest, file-sharing community has suffered the brunt of this expansion, as popular applications such as Kazaa are stuffed with such third party software. One of the CDT's major objections is the lack of warning from software providers. Typically, software providers give elusive warning, often buried in the EULA, that “third party software” will be installed on an individual’s machine.

The CDT website hammers the Kazaa application, citing it as one of the primary examples of such elusive behavior. In addition, the site has developed a report titled, "Ghosts in Our Machines: Background and Policy Proposals on the "Spyware" Problem." This report is a brief, yet informative, examination of the history, types and current legislations against this invasive pest.

In addition, the CDT today launched a program called "CDT's Campaign Against "Spyware." The CDT wishes to collect testimony from users that have experience maliced from such third party software. It is the goal of CDT to collect these stories, and file a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission, which they believe has jurisdiction over such issues.

Like telemarketers, spam, and now spyware, there is a growing interest in Washington to confront these issues. With enough attention placed on spyware, perhaps while never being eradicated, it can be brought under control.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Technology News :: Spyware/Adware

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