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  1. #1
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    WASHINGTON -- The distributors of spyware are heading for a crash, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee predicted as the Safeguard Against Privacy Invasions Act passed his full committee yesterday.

    “The overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of this bill denotes the seriousness of the threat spyware poses to our personal information. These provisions will protect American consumers from unwelcome tracking or hijacking of their internet activities, and bring to a halt an intrusive practice which affects every PC user in the country,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. The committee voted 45-4 to send the anti-spyware bill to the full House.

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    Catwoman

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Cool, now we just need an anti-adware bill.

  4. #4
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    This is a L A R G E step in the right direction.
    Once we get rid of these slimeballs, we can work on the adware people.
    Write your congressional representatives. This actually works!


  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    It's good news as long as they don't target affiliate cookies as spyware.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Great news and further into the media spotlight with the new Windows IIS server trojan taking over hosting sites. Seems the backdoor is being used for stuffing Adware POPs, spamm generators and monitoring surfing activity with hidden drive-by installs. The built in DOS attack feature makes sure the cybercriminals, identity thieves and spammers get paid in un-traceable funds.

    Yep the gorilla marketing advertising mindset of the affiliate industry is about to hear the wrath of bombarded shoppers. If the Feds take the moves to protect the merchant's checkout lane from contextual Ad attackers the B-a-HOs will take it in the shorts. Their next move would likely be to place hidden X-10 web cams in the major merchants checkout lane floors to feed porn and voyour sites.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It's good news as long as they don't target affiliate cookies as spyware. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hmmm, never thought of that....

    Nothing like rain on a parade if they do.

  8. #8
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    If can-spam is any indicator of what we will end up with, the new law will require everyone have whenu and gator installed on their pc - just to even it up.

    Chet

  9. #9
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    I think it's a real shame that governments and other agencies have to step in to protect people online. Unfortunately, all the scums who develop the parasites and the even bigger scums who use them on a daily basis are making the internet an unsafe and dishonest environment for all surfers.

    I'm not sure if a bill to make spyware illegal is good or not. Scumware will come in different formats, just give them time to think it up. Merchants can't sell their products the honest way, so they resort to stealing from their salesforce and competitors. None of them gives a damn if their customers end up with spyware on their computer without knowing it.

    All companies that use spyware to promote their stuff should be fined, and a huge fine at that, to make an example out of them. Hurt them where it REALLY hurts!

    As for adware, this scenario would be illegal in the real world. Where have you ever seen a merchant standing at the door of another merchant's store offering discount coupons and cheapers prices to the customers for his own store? How long do you think they would remain at the door before they get their ass kicked or arrested??

    There's a Wendy's commercial on TV now and every time I see it I think of parasites. A guy is set up with a grill in front of a restaurant. He's offering people free food which of course taste great. People ask if they can get it inside the restaurant. The guy says no, you can get it at Wendy's across the street. The owner of the restaurant comes running out to chase this guy away.

    I would shoot the bastard!

    Catwoman

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The networks original cookie setting scheme is not the problem with getting flagged as spyware. It is the shoehorning of clickstream datamining hooks into that cookie setting technique that raises red flags on network links.

    Seems the IAB/DMA membership -various Ad agencies with AM fronts- and our network buddies running contextual BHO and SEM campaigns reap profits from selling clickstream data. Why do you think CJ/BF/Valueclick, LS and Performics are red flagged by all legit spyware/adware detectors, firewalls, Cookie/Ad blockers? Because they refuse to NOT spy on shoppers for their advertisers, Dupers and 3rd party clickstream info buyers....they will always get red flagged for cause. The laws might do well to fine those at the root of the illecit money trail for spyware applications.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well the Russian major corporate site hijacking server has been taken offline leaving thousands of compromised Windows NT servers doing drive-by installs. Nothing like having visitors and employees going to Boeing Corp, International Harvestor, Ford Motor Co and government sites getting their systems turned into affiliate marketing popup Ad and spam zombi machines via drive-by installs.

    CNet News.com......

    update An adware purveyor has apparently used two previously unknown security flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to install a toolbar on victims' computers that triggers pop-up ads, researchers said this week.

    One flaw lets an attacker run a program on a victim's machine, while the other enables malicious code to "cross zones," or run with privileges higher than normal. Together, the two issues allow for the creation of a Web site that, when visited by victims, can upload and install programs to the victim's computer, according to two analyses of the security holes.

    The possibility that a group or company has apparently used the vulnerabilities as a way to sneak unwanted advertising software, or adware, onto a user's computer could be grounds for criminal charges, said Stephen Toulouse, security program manager for Microsoft.

    "We consider that any use of an exploit to run a program is a criminal use," he said. "We are going to work aggressively with law enforcement to prosecute individuals or companies that do so."

    Microsoft learned of the issue when a security researcher posted an analysis of the problem to the Full Disclosure security mailing list Monday. The software giant has already contacted the FBI and is in the "early stages" of building the case, Toulouse said. The company is considering creating a patch quickly and releasing it as soon as possible, rather than waiting for its usual monthly update.

    The flaws are apparently being used to install the I-Lookup search bar, an adware toolbar that is added to IE's other toolbars. The adware changes the Internet Explorer home page, connects to one of six advertising sites and frequently displays pop-ups--mainly pornographic ads, according to an adware advisory on antivirus company Symantec's Web site.

    On Tuesday, security information group Secunia released an advisory about the problem, rating the two flaws "extremely critical."

    "Secunia has confirmed the vulnerabilities in a fully patched system with Internet Explorer 6.0," the group wrote. "It has been reported that the preliminary SP2 (a major security update being developed by Microsoft) prevents exploitation by denying access."
    The flaws could let any attacker with a Web site send an e-mail message or an instant message with a link that, when clicked on by an Internet Explorer user, would cause a program to run on that victim's computer.

    The original analysis, written by a Netherland student researcher, Jelmer Kuperus, who found that the type of programming needed to take advantage of at least one of the flaws required sophisticated knowledge of the Windows operating system.

    "While sophisticated, it's so easy to use, anyone with basic computer science can set up such a page, now that the code is out there in the open," Kuperus wrote in an e-mail interview with CNET News.com. "It's just a matter of changing two or three (Internet addresses) and uploading another" executable file.

    Kuperus, who used an e-mail account based in the Netherlands, wrote in a Monday e-mail that he had been tipped off to the adware Trojan horse by an unnamed individual.

    "Being rather skeptical, I carelessly clicked on the link only to witness how it automatically installed adware on my PC!" he wrote.

    The Internet address from which the adware Trojan horse was downloaded resolves to I-Lookup.com, a search engine registered in Costa Rica that antivirus firms Symantec and PestPatrol have linked to aggressive advertising software. Two of the top three searches on the site relate to removing such programs, according to I-Lookup.com's own statistics.

    A domain name search shows i-Lookup.com's parent company to be Aztec Marketing, but Pest Patrol links the site with iClicks Internet. E-mails sent to both companies for comment were not immediately answered.

    Kuperus believes that i-Lookup.com's parent company may not be directly responsible for the adware-installing Trojan horse program, but that it could be rewarding the creator through an affiliate program.

    "It does pass along a referrer code when downloading," he said. "Whomever created this probably is getting money for every install, so if the folks at (i-Lookup.com) would be willing, they would be able to track down the perpetrators."

    Microsoft's Toulouse said Internet Explorer users could harden the software against such attacks by following instructions on the company's site. Other browsers available on Windows, such as Opera and Mozilla, do not contain the flaws.


    Surprise I'm posting this using the new Mozilla Firefox browser. Further Surprises coming as the greed driven adware/spyware perps get their roots exposed as cybercrime units disect the money trails leading to the affiliate industry's underbelly.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  12. #12
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    That was just passing in committee. There is also another bill floating around out there.

    I talked to several while in NY about the Federal bills. The concensus seemed to be that:

    1) Don't expect any bill to hit the books as law until next year...or the next....or the next
    2) The bills fall short in some areas.
    3) What Catalyst said is true. And we need to make sure our interests are protected with any law that eventually arrives.
    4) Regulators are leaning towards the Industry self regulating with regards to many issues that we have as affiliate marketers and really don't want to get involved in writing laws to address those issues. When saying self regulating they seem to be implying the spyware/adware removal tools. And that is a whole other can of worms.

  13. #13
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    Ms B,

    Dependent on what is bundled with the bill is dependent on how fast it will go through. I know everyone has forgotten that not a single bill goes through ever with out it being a part of a bundle. Our politicians always bundle like the spyware; the politicians always have another agenda.

    Maybe its potbellies, maybe it’s a raise for the senate (that one would help), does anyone know what is bundled in the bill?

  14. #14
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Sandra,

    You are very correct about that which is one reason legislation can and usually is a very long process except is some very extenuiating circumstances. I haven't seen the draft since it passed out of committe yet. I believe that happened while in NY. The last version I saw while the language was still being pounded out in committee didn't have anything else attached to it yet. It probably doesn't yet since it is just making it's way to the House now. That's when the the wheeling and dealing begins and other bills become attached when before the House and Senate. Your statement is even more on point since there is another competing bill out there. Also along the way, the bill could be sent back and forth between the House and Senate for approval as they add admendments.

    Rep. Urquhart (author of the UT bill) also made an interesting point at the LS Symposium session on Spyware when talking about the Federal bills. He is of the opinion that a bill will probably pass through the House easily but that the Senate could well be a hold up as the Senate is less likely to favor Federalization on these issues (ie it should handled on the State level vs the Federal level). I have no idea how accurate an assessment that may be, but he certainly has more insight into the polictical leanings of the US Congress than I do.

    I do think it is good news to see something moving on the legislation side. However, I have seen many posts by affiliates which seem to reflect that they feel that many of the issues being faced by affiliates will be "handled" by legislation in the works now. It will most likely be a long process and whatever legislation does come down will most likely be primarily consumer centric not addressing affiliate issues per se and may indeed not cover many of the software applications that affiliates have concerns about but rather the rogue applications. And Lord forbid that the whole cookies thing ends up in it at all.

    I also wonder what impact the Judges recent ruling in the UT bill will have on the possible verbage of any Federal bill. I would think there are those on the Federal level who are now watching what transpires in the courts of UT. I doubt many legislatures are too fond of the Courts coming backing and beating their laws with the big unconstitutional stick.

  15. #15
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    July 29, 2004

    There will always be a clever thief who figures
    out a new way to steal people's money.

    You take one out and another will pop up!

    What makes it easy and profitable for thieves
    to operate is that the world is awash in a sea of "Windows".

    RadarCat
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    There's a Wendy's commercial on TV now and every time I see it I think of parasites. A guy is set up with a grill in front of a restaurant. He's offering people free food which of course taste great. People ask if they can get it inside the restaurant. The guy says no, you can get it at Wendy's across the street. The owner of the restaurant comes running out to chase this guy away.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Me too, I thought I was the only one that see the similarities.


    <hr class="ev_code_hr" />
    "I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~ Gerry Spence"

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