Thursday, January 26, 2006

Harvard Law School, Oxford and Google Launch Anti-"Badware" Coalition

A coalition that includes Google, Harvard, Oxford and a number of other players has launched a campaign against cybercriminals who create malicious computer programs that steal personal information and spy on people's Web surfing.

The group intends to shame the firms that produce the "badware" and will gather data that could lay the groundwork for class-action lawsuits against them.

Coverage of the Stop Badware coalition launch:

  • Anti-spyware project helps users (BBC News): "'We do have companies in mind but we are not going to name names off the bat,' said John Palfrey, co-director of the Stop Badware Coalition and director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. 'The key message here is that we are putting every company on notice,' he said."
  • Google, Sun, Others Out To Shame Spyware (Information Week): "Whether the light of day, or shame, has an effect on the multi-million dollar spyware and adware business has yet to be seen, of course. Previously, the only tactic that worked was taking purveyors to court, as the Center for Democracy and Technology urged the [American] Federal Trade Commission to do Tuesday with 180solutions, the world's second-largest adware maker."
  • Google, Sun, others band to fight spyware, adware (CNET News): "'I believe the potential growth of the Internet will be limited if we allow invasive badware and spyware to continue to fester without strong action,' he [Internet pioneer Vincent Cerf] said in a statement. 'All consumers must be in control of their experiences when they browse the Internet, and the mass proliferation of badware threatens this control. We cannot allow that to continue'."
  • New Program Takes Aim at Purveyors of Malicious Software (New York Times): "The spread of noxious code and the ease with which it can be deposited on unsuspecting users' machines has generally outpaced the ability of legislative and regulatory measures to grapple with the problem. A handful of bills are pending in Congress, and several states have passed tough laws intended to curb the deceptive practices that many companies use to get their software on consumers' machines and then use them to perform tasks that a user never agreed to. Some 59 million American adults reported having adware or spyware infecting their computers last year, according to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a research group in Washington."

Earlier Library Boy posts on "badware":


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:21 pm


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