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“Telling the Truth about Installation Tactics

May 9, 2005

Installation practices occupied center stage at last week’s CNET’s anti-spyware conference. Many of the companies whose installation practices I’ve criticized attempted to defend those practices or deflect attention from them. But their explanations and excuses don’t stand up to critical examination.

My new article today proceeds in four parts. First I look at more Claria installations targeting kids — their focus on children even more transparent than the examples I posted previously. Next I critique the recent denial of IAC CEO Barry Diller of any liability by Ask Jeeves; I argue that nonconsensual installations could be wrongful in and of themselves, even when not associated with ‘adware.’ Then I compare 180’s actual practices with its statements to the press and with the claims on its web sites. Finally, diverging a bit from the theme of installation practices, I discuss Direct Revenue’s commission-skimming — and note that DR apparently just got caught by the largest affiliate network.”

Ben Edelman has been, and continues to bring out, through video clips and website slides, the various ways in which these types of things get installed on our computers in the first place.

There is so much more on Ben’s site.

At the CNET Anti-Spyware conference held on May 3, 2005, Ben brought three sides with him to not only tell, but also to show how this is being done, on what he rightly (in my opinion) calls a ‘kid’s site,’ the Ezone website. His site also shows more kids’ sites that are being used by these ‘vendors.’

I particularly wish to say how much I appreciate how the following folks (as well as many others online) have participated in the conference, and helped those of us who could not make the conference, know more details about it, and how and where to get information on the CNET Anti-Spyware Conference:

Ben Edelman
Wayne Porter of ReveNews
Eric Howes and Suzi of SpywareWarrior
Wayne Cunningham of CNET Spyware-Confidential
Paperghost of Vitalsecurity
Dave Methvin of PCPitstop
Alex Eckelberry of Sunbelt Software (CounterSpy)
David Moll of Webroot (Spy Sweeper)

Bill Pytlovany – BillPStudios, where he states the following just above a picture of the panel;

9:30 AM Session I – Defining Spyware and Adware

Moderator: Wayne Cunningham,
Michael Wood, Eric L. Howes, Declan McCullagh, Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Ben Edelman

Could have easily been called “We don’t care what you call it, just Stop it!”


These and so many more folks out there that fight for us as computer users every day to educate, warn and inform, and through their efforts, those who can actually do something about this will know what’s going on with adware, spyware, malware, scumware, junkware, parasites, or whatever you want to call it.

Thanks so much to TeMerc, of Internet Countermeasures through a posting at the Scot’s Newletter Forums for getting me going on looking at most all of these great sources from the CNET Ant-Spyware Conference. And to Suzi of SpywareWarrior for letting us know about Release 1.0 where the audio of the entire conference is being housed. The files are large files, but available in downloadable MP3 files as well as streaming audio.

NOTE: Originally posted: May 2005 (recreated from mangled original

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