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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Did not dig that deep yet, about the who's and what's but interesting enough to mention.
    Aztec Marketing, an affiliate of 180solutions distributor, allegedly violated this agreement and tried to collect installation commissions by forcing certain users to unknowingly install 180search Assistant and other software. 180solutions responded by filing a suit against the distributor under Washington state law.
    full article


  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    As you read this informative link provided by Mokum, check out the other FTC & CDT initiatives to see why the networks are being forced to address this issue NOW! Remember our fine President made it a mandintory 5 years in prison for any overt/covert action that leads to "identity theft" last week. GWB has demanded the FTC whack the spammers and follow through on spyware/adware complaints with similar legislation to the ID theft criminal laws. Now digest the following to see why the networks HAVE TO muzzle their Adware affiliates.....

    MUST READ....

    (b) Homepage “hijacking.” Users who encountered the deceptive Spy Wiper ads saw
    them after their homepages were changed to a website hosting the ads. This website is
    owned by Seismic Entertainment Productions, Inc. Seismic Entertainment Productions
    inserted javascripts that changed users’ settings into ads unrelated to Spy Wiper that were
    served on a variety of unrelated websites. These scripts made the changes without users’
    consent. In some cases, the settings changes repeated themselves even after users
    attempted to manually reset their homepages to a page of their own choosing. Several
    users reported that they were unable to eliminate the problem even given significant time
    and technical expertise.
    (c) “Affiliate” relationships that obscure responsibility for the foregoing actions. When
    CDT began researching the complaints about Spy Wiper that we received from users, we
    encountered a dense network of business-to-business relationships that made it extremely
    difficult for us, let alone for an ordinary consumer, to trace the problem to the responsible
    party. For example, CDT contacted MailWiper, Inc., the makers of Spy Wiper, as have
    some of the users affected by the advertisements and homepage changes. MailWiper
    denied responsibility for the hijacking and the deceptive ads, suggesting that consumers
    may have been victimized by one or more of its “affiliates.” “Affiliate marketing”
    schemes based on a variety of business-to-business agreements are common among
    online merchants and advertisers, including e-mail marketers and distributors of various
    “adware” applications. Such agreements can create value for consumers—but they can
    also be exploited by companies to deflect responsibility and avoid accountability. In the
    case of Spy Wiper, we believe that the affiliate relationships and the blame-shifting by
    MailWiper, Inc. helped to make it unreasonably difficult for consumers to avoid or
    remove unwanted Spy Wiper ads.
    5. In light of the harms suffered by Internet users, CDT is requesting that the Commission:
    (a) Investigate MailWiper Inc., Seismic Entertainment Productions, Inc., and their
    subsidiaries and affiliates to determine who is responsible for the deceptive advertising
    and the changes to users’ homepage settings.
    (b) Enjoin MailWiper, Seismic Entertainment Productions, or other responsible parties
    from future use of the deceptive advertising.
    (c) Enjoin MailWiper, Seismic Entertainment Productions, or other responsible parties
    from further involvement in “browser hijacking.”
    (d) Other such equitable relief as the Commission finds appropriate.
    6. The FTC is in a unique position to investigate the network of business-to-business
    relationships involved in this case to find the parties directly responsible and to determine
    whether and to what extent MailWiper, Inc. is itself liable for the injury suffered by consumers as a result of the advertisement of its product. If Mail Wiper knew or should have known about the actions of its affiliates, the company should be held liable. It is important that it be clear to companies that invoking an affiliate relationship does not allow them to avoid liability for business partners’ actions from which they gain advantage.
    7. It is especially important that the Commission act in this case because there is evidence that a variety of other companies claiming to market “anti-spyware” software may have begun deploying advertising strategies similar to that used to advertise for Spy Wiper. The potential of the Internet will be substantially harmed if users come to believe that they cannot use the World Wide Web without being subjected to deceptive advertising or be at risk of having the settings on their computers repeatedly changed by the sites they visit.15. Nearly all users who complained about Spy Wiper ads experienced a similar set of events: As the Spy Wiper advertisement opened in their web browsers, their CD-ROM drive popped open and a warning message appeared on their screen. Jola Harvel from Michigan captured a screenshot of this pop-up and posted it on a website devoted to describing the Spy Wiper problem MUST READ....

    excerpt on how just one of 1300 spyware/adware operators work to infest machines for lead fees and/or Adwhore commissions.

    "On Saturday, November 22, 2003 my computer was infiltrated with what I believe to be a spyware designed to advertise for Mail Wiper, Inc. My default homepage in IE, which had been previously set on the CNN website, was hijacked and changed to a page with the address of When this page loaded, it prompted two pop-ups to appear on the screen and also caused the CD ROM drive door to open. The first pop-up stated "WARNING! If your CD rom drive opens, you desperately need to rid your system of spyware pop-ups immediately. Spyware programmers can control your computer hardware if you fail to protect your computer right at this moment! Download Spy Wiper now!" The second pup-up stated "If your notepad launched and is displaying this message, then spyware programmers can control applications on your computer and it is urgent that you download Spy Wiper immediately. Do not allow spyware programs to damage your insecure computer." (See examples below). An attempt to close the warning pup-ups triggered pornographic pup-ups to appear. When all the pop-up windows were finally closed, a webpage displaying advertising for Spy Wiper in image format was left, bearing the name and address of Mail Wiper, Inc., 8725 Roswell Rd., #104, Atlanta, GA 30350 at the bottom and no opt-out link. "

    Does this Religious dedication of the spammer/spyware/adware perp sound familiar?????
    "Mail Wiper, Inc's CEO, Rob Martinson granted a radio interview several months ago in KLAY 1180 AM radio station's WebTalkGuys show.

    During this interview, Mr. Martinson states "This whole business came about because we have a goal. We didn't want children and grown-ups seeing awful pornography e-mails." "I was hearing in the industry that children were getting hit with pornography and that even though they didn't want it in their email, then they would go delete them and they would pop up on their screens and they would go straight into the websites and I just felt that, that was very evil and it was time for someone to bring that to an end and there's just some horrible, awful pornography spams that are running around the internet so I've dedicated my life to getting rid of it."

    Although his "goal and life's dedication" sounds very admirable, it must be limited to email spam only, because he doesn't seem concerned about hiring advertising companies that hijack your browser to promote his company, backed with pornographic pup-ups. .....UPDATE: I just received an email from someone who was hijacked by SpyWiper who has informed me that the hijack deliberately disabled her content advisor, which she had intentionally set up to protect her 11 year old child from seeing anything adverse while online. Rob Martinson claimed in his radio interview that his mission in life was to protect children from seeing porn, yet he markets his products through marketing companies that flood the user with pornographic popups and disables child-security functions on the user's computer.

    The networks -merchants are going to be held accountable for the direct and indirect actions of their advertisers and affiliates by the FTC.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    New York, USA
    Now that's interesting. The Center for Democracy and Technology was cited in the article as being instrumental in this process. Several articles on their home page refer to this lawsuit.

    Center for Democracy and Technology

    Their mission statement:
    The Center for Democracy and Technology works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT seeks practical solutions to enhance free expression and privacy in global communications technologies. CDT is dedicated to building consensus among all parties interested in the future of the Internet and other new communications media.

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