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Will the FTC's spyware study create new problems?

By MaryWeilage Editor ·
Is spyware a major concern for your organization? How do you detect and remove spyware? Do you think the FTC's investigation will help improve the issue? Do you agree with Jonathan Yarden that it will also create new problems? Share your comments about dealing with spyware in your organization, as discussed in the March 22 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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Outlaw Spyware Practices

by briancoppola In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

Yes, I think that the FTC should study the use of spyware and I think that there should be a mandatory click through license agreement that still allows one to install the software but yet lets the consumer say no to spyware.

Furthermore, I think that if a company, like for example, Iwon keeps installing spyware or adware on one's computers a consumer should have the right to get some sort of injunction blocking these companies from doing so. Furthermore, yes, you say go to windows updates and install security patches, but, yet, doing so, corrupts other files on your computer. So, yes, the FTC should ennact legislation that would require a click through license agreement meaning that a consumer only has to aggree to not violating copyright laws or the terms associated with illegal copyright practices, however, these companies must also in their license agreements must put a clause and a radio button marked yes/no to the question of whether the consumer wants to install other bundled software and they also must detail what that other software is.

I think that they do need to move on it quickly because some of the spyware and even trying to remnove it is damaging people's computers thus mnakinbg other programs not work well.

I think that the consumers should stand up to the FTC and say that we want something done about the spyware problem and maybe, to get a move on on the issue, let them know that they will be held responsible for any damages caused by private company's spyware to the personal or company computer. And yes, if these companies have hackers hacking into people's computers, these companies must also be required to turn them over to law enforcement officials.

Yes, companies should be allowed to advertise their products, but consumers should also be allowed the option of opting out. Spyware can lead to technovandalism. Companies who engage in these practices who cause damage to someone's computers should be held liable for damage caused under the neglegience theory of law.

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Most spy-ware is opt in

by TheChas In reply to Outlaw Spyware Practices

There are 2 problems with your logic here.

First, US law cannot be applied across the internet or across borders. If you download software from a foreign web site, US law will not apply.

Second, most spy-ware is opt-in now.
If you read the End User License Agreement for many free-ware programs, part of accepting the agreement and installing the software is your approval to install the spy-ware.

The next class of spy-ware is cookie related. Again, when you browse to a web-site that requires cookies, you have the option to disable cookies in your browser privacy settings.
If you don't disable cookies, or choose to accept cookies, you have given tacit approval for placing cookies on your PC.

The same arguments apply to spam.
over 90% of the spam that people get comes from web-sites that they gave their e-mail address to in order to get something for free.

If people fail to read the policies and EULA's for web-sites and software, they have no one but themselves to blame for the spy-ware and spam they receive.

Chas

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"users click accep", no offense, but BS

by valis In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

in the past two years i've NEVER had spyware install after clicking ANY sort of "accept" button. i've NEVER had that option, usually it just installs after i visit the wrong sort of website.

a few public excecutions may send a good message to the likes of gator and xupiter

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TurboTax

by Cactus Pete In reply to "users click accep", no o ...

If you have used TurboTax, you have installed spyware after clicking the "accept" button. That's a less-nuisance type example, but a big one.

Many free apps, like IM programs, will throw adware at you while some do install spyware. It happens. Congratulations if it's hever happened to you.

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Change Download options

by TheChas In reply to "users click accep", no o ...

This is another area of poor judgment that many people make when setting up their systems. They don't take the time to secure IE from installing applications and extensions without asking.

You need to change your Internet options to ask for permission to install software.

Then, add Gator and their friends to the list of sites to block cookies from.

Another VERY good option to stop spy-ware is to run the Mozilla web browser. At least until Mozilla catches on more, it seams that the spy-ware mainly exploits IE code.

Chas

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Spyware is a Nuisance

by SCrater In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

Sypware has become a huge problem for our staff - at home, as well as in the office. In the office we use Ad-Aware to scan for and remove spyware.(The personal version is used by some at home, also.)Of course, if we remove all items carte blanche, we could potentially lose legitimate cookies. However, the potential for system slow down and the unwanted tracking of information is by far the greater evil.

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LICEWARE is a More Appropriate Term

by chris.dole In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

LICEWARE (a.k.a. "adware") doesn't try to hurt or kill you or others like a virus, but it does resemble a parasite like LICE because they are extremely annoying and you have to go to extreme meausres to get rid of them once infected.

The people who write this software should be prosecuted as criminals for the lost productivity and aggravation their software causes, not to mention possibly opening still more security holes through which other unwanted invasions could occur.

I realize that such legislation would possibly set a precedent that could be used for more governmental regulation, but in this case we'd have to weigh the lesser of two evils. My opinion is currently tilted toward the threat of criminal action for writing LICEWARE.

Feel free to present evidence that might change my mind.

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STRICT web usage policies must be enforced

by Oz_Media In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

Outside of running AdAware on desktops to remove spyware, I have never seen a problem across a couple of networks I manage that can't be simply detected and removed as data miners etc by AdAware.

I write up very strict user policies, NO online email services are alowed at all (hotmail, MSN etc) NO chat software whatsoever is allowed to be installed, nosurfing unless to customer or work related sites. Computer at people's homes are for that junk, not a company network.

If a few things are picked up, very rarely, I just remote in to the desktops and do an inventory of installed apps. If I see, MSN or W.H.Y., I remove it and notify thier employer of the policy breach. From that point it is out of my hands and up to the employer. If the employer doesn't do anything about it and ends up paying me $150.00/hr to do an onsite cleanup, it doesn't take too many invoices before they start acting upon your notifications.

if the employee is bummed, they have the rules, they broke the rules and maybe next time they will think twice before installing MSN chat on thier next employers computer.

It sounds a little harsh, but when a company invests tens or hundreds of thousands inthier network and some $20/hr employee screws it up and costs the company 150/hr, they deserve to be unemployed. There a plenty of others that will do the same job without compromising the company's investment.

So beyond that, I see no need for regulation outside of the company.

If you can't train staff and enforce policies, you shouldn't be in business in 2004.

Why should we let someone else to do something about it when we can take care of this at the company level, which differs by each company involved?

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Spyware or Spam

by no-reply In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

Spyware or Spam? - Sounds the same to me. Both end up on your computer without your wanting it to be there. They both demand time; both in ascertaining what it is and its removal. Both can be a pain in the rear, if not impossible (for some) to get rid of. I'd almost rather be invaded by aliens, but then I'll be careful what I ask for.

And, oh, I'm sorry, a little off key, but I'm paying money for a piece of software I've really been wanting, only to find out I have to click cancel because I'm not willing to agree with Part 3 Sub-Section 2c of the User Agreement? Now, because I don't want this "extra fluff", er, "stuff", I have to go take it back? Something is seriously wrong with that.

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We have met the enemy and they is us - Pogo !!

by mrinternet In reply to Will the FTC's spyware st ...

Leave it to the government to create "make work", based upon the doctrine of the military. As if it is not enough to have to deal with change and security at the same time ... now let stir up the pot and have our own side "whitehats" act stupid ! Lead, follow or get the **** out of the way.

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