And what of COAST…

It is sad to see that the consortium originally created to help thrash out general standards by which anti-spyware companies could determine what is, or should be, considered scumware, spyware, adware, malware, parasites has virtually gone to the dogs. With most, if not all of it’s founding Anti-Spyware company members now gone.

Last year, Lavasoft, a founding member and creator of Ad-Aware saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave COAST (Consortium of Anti-Spyware Technology Vendors).

Since that time, several companies that either are, were, and/or are again (spyware), have somehow managed to weasel their way into the consortium creating a conflict of interest within the consortium that has now apparently become tainted and ineffectual.

This week alone, three more Anti-Spyware founding companies have left, or are in the process of leaving COAST. First, WebRoot in December, now Aluria themselves, and PestPatrol has also announced they are leaving.

It would appear that we all have Aluria, and it’s insistence upon allowing spyware companies that have in their opinion tried to clean up their act to be granted admittance into COAST (which gives them a vote) and given certification of being ‘spyware free,’ to thank for this terrible turn of events.

Somehow I think they missed the whole meaning of COAST. COAST was to be an Anti-spyware consortium!

I can’t say I blame any of the founding members for leaving given the recent actions of COAST.

There have been many articles on Castlecops.com, SpywareInfo.com, CNET, ZDNet and many other Internet news outlets, and bloggers such as SpywareWarrior and others around the web about this disasterous turn for the consortium.

One thing I do know. I am glad I have never suggested to anyone that they use any Aluria products, and it’s for sure I will not start now.

If anyone has battled the beasts called spyware, adware, malware, scumware and parasites, you know what I am talking about.

These ‘spyware’ companies do not seem to care what their software does to a computer, or how much frustration and futility, not to mention expense, their products have caused computer owners … just so they can make a buck.

What happened to ethics? Capitalism is a good thing if handled ethically…but these spyware campanies (and the software companies that make use of them) give capitalism a bad name…because all they think about is themselves.

They do not care that many computers have hundreds to thousands of these pesky little beasts (and I am not referring to tracking cookies as some have tried to imply) causing computers to slow, become more crashy, affect or interfere with Internet connectivity, compromise security, and at times to even cause the computer to crash and burn.

COAST was a noble effort when it began.

Thanks Aluria … for nothing.

Just some of the items related to this subject:
Lavasoft – Press release when they left COAST – December 2003
Webroot – Press release when they left COAST – December 2004
Castlecops: Will COAST be Eliminated?
ReveNews.com – Could COAST be Toast?
SpywareWarrior – On 180Solutions being accepted into COAST
Ben Edelman – on 180Solutions being accepted into COAST
John Dvorak – It’s time to do something about spyware
BroadbandReports – Aluria responds: Defends WhenU Marketing deal
WildersSecurity – The “Lure” of Aluria
SpywareInfo – Anti-spyware vendor partners with adware vendor
COAST – Members (wasn’t updated as of today)
Castlecops’ article on Aluria – Spyware Eliminator
ZDNet – Cat fight in the spyware corral

FCSNL – Proof that KaZaA does in fact slow computers
(from Sharman’s own CTO and employees)

Quote from ZDNet’s original article entitled:

Kazaa’s a drag at its own company

The document, entitled “Kazaa Technology 2004” and written by Phil Morle, says that Sharman needs to be careful about installing too much adware on a computer upon the installation of Kazaa. The document is part of a bundle for which a request for confidentiality was rejected this week by Justice Murray Wilcox, the judge overseeing a copyright trial against Sharman in Australia.

And a quote from CNET’s original article entitled:

Kazaa’s a drag at its own company

Employees at peer-to-peer provider Sharman Networks “hate” installing the company’s own Kazaa software because it has ill effects on their computers, according to an internal document written by Sharman’s chief technology officer.

NOTE: Originally posted: February 2005 (recreated from mangled original bambismusings.blogspot.com)

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