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  1. #1
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Congrats 180Solutions, you scared them all away!
    It comes as no surprise that an organization formed to fight spyware but endorses one of the worst known offenders gets dismantled. Thank God this happened before they could go any damage to the general public. So long COAST!

    Saturday, February 5, 2005

    Anti-spyware group unravels over direction


    The Consortium of Anti-Spyware Technology Vendors was established to help computer users remove unwanted software and put pressure on those companies that distribute invasive online advertising technologies.

    But just 20 months after it was founded by four leading anti-spyware companies, the organization -- known by its acronym, Coast -- has fallen into disarray.

    Two of the founding members of the group withdrew yesterday and a third is expected to pull support next week -- moves that come just three weeks after the controversial admission of Bellevue-based 180solutions.

    Boulder, Colo.-based Webroot Software and Lake Mary, Fla.-based Aluria Software listed separate reasons for leaving, though the acceptance of 180solutions on Jan. 14 and the consideration of other adware companies was mentioned by some as having disrupted the organization's mission. An inability to create a set of standards and a code of ethics around the spyware issue also was cited as a problem by former members.

    "The truth is, I don't think the organization will exist," said Rick Carlson, president of Aluria Software, which announced its departure last night. "There won't be any anti-spyware vendors in the consortium of anti-spyware vendors."

    Although Carlson said that he had "real issues with 180solutions" joining the organization but that was not the primary reason the company quit.

    "The overall feeling is that Coast became somewhat paralyzed," said Carlson. "And the remaining anti-spyware vendors felt that a new organization with only anti-spyware vendors would be the way to go."

    180solutions has a history as a purveyor of adware and spyware -- nasty software applications that can unexpectedly attach to personal computers and result in dozens of pop-up ads, slowing the performance of the machine. In fact, some of the Coast members' technologies still classify 180solutions as adware.

    That created some tension within the organization. Trey Barnes, its executive director, could not be reached for comment.

    Webroot, in a statement yesterday, said the organization is "moving in a direction with which we cannot agree." The privately held software company -- which co-founded the organization in summer 2003 -- also said that it felt uncomfortable with the consortium acting as a certification body and marketing tool for members.

    In an interview, Webroot spokesman Patrick Ward said that the admission of 180solutions was one of several moves by the organization recently that led to the decision.

    "The evolution of the organization going forward is one where they are taking companies that are traditionally deemed spyware and giving them the stamp of approval," said Ward.

    The withdrawal of Webroot and Aluria caught 180solutions by surprise. The company, which has been making strides to improve the way its software is distributed, said it took six months to become certified in the organization. Director of marketing Todd Sawicki said he was not aware of Webroot raising any issues about the company during the review period.

    "We made changes recommended by Coast, including Webroot," said Sawicki in an e-mail response. "We're sticking with our changes and are proud of the work we've done. All the changes made go well above and beyond all legislative and legal standards currently being discussed for any software."

    180solutions said it believed it had received unanimous support when it joined. However, it remained unclear yesterday how each of the members voted.

    180solutions, whose business model has been criticized by consumer groups and legal experts, had pledged to release only software that met the standards of the consortium. It had 90 days to make sure only these Coast-approved versions were distributed.

    Even though key members are leaving, Sawicki said that 180solutions will continue to work with anti-spyware companies to design effective industry standards.

    This is not the first sign of trouble at the consortium.

    Just six months after its formation, one of the founding members departed. In a blistering press release on Dec. 16, 2003, Lavasoft -- maker of the popular Ad-aware software -- said that it would "no longer tolerate, support or participate in the Coast organization."

    "The current leadership's overt agenda to concentrate on revenue generation flies in the face of the spirit of the original mission Lavasoft set forth when we founded Coast," the release said. "Not only do their current efforts shed a bad light on Coast, but also reflect badly on the entire anti-trackware industry." It goes on to say that the idea behind the organization had "degenerated into a commercialistic quagmire."

    Matt Henne, the former executive director of the consortium, declined to comment.

    With three of the four founding companies gone, only PestPatrol remains a founding member. But a source said that that maker of anti-spyware software, which Computer Associates acquired last August, will be leaving next week.

    "As of now, we are still a member," Computer Associates spokesman Bob Gordon said yesterday.

    The departure of Webroot and Aluria comes just a few days before the organization was scheduled to hold a strategic planning meeting in Washington, D.C. Carlson, the president of Aluria, said he doesn't know if the company will cancel that trip. But he said Aluria will continue to lobby Congress and work with companies to set spyware standards.

    Coast -- which was supposed to bring everyone together to work on the problem -- will no longer be the vehicle to do it, he said.

    "I think it is a sad day," said Carlson. "Aluria has always taken the position that you have to publicly display standards for consumers. It is sad that it never happened with Coast."

    P-I reporter John Cook can be reached at 206-448-8075 or

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Aluria is full of crap, publicly mislead, not publicly display. By purposefully confusing consumers over adware and spyware, Aluria is trying to cash in and give approval to scumbags like Whenu. If you are an AOL customer, you should demand that AOL drop their relationship with Aluria and choose a company that has a stand against both spyware and adware.


  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    The Swamp
    COAST was always a joke and good riddance. Wonder what will be taking it's place in the internal war between the spyware removal apps.

  4. #4
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Opposite the Slough of Despond
    I'm not surprised that CA are in there still with PestPatrol - it's one of those corporate monsters that takes some time to react.

    Presumably Coast's "certification" process didn't involve, say, surfing the web with an unpatched version of IE to see how long it took for 180Solutions software to be installed through a security hole.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    LOL....sliding in the Adwhores with their DMA/IAB clout and ajenda failed to meet the original mission statement. They'd have had an easier job forming a FTC lobby group and PR spinmaster club if it didn't take so much cheap perfume to mask the stench of those seeking certification. Another liberal experiment gone astraw. Be like campaigning to reform phedophiles by hiring them to design and promote playground equipment and give pony rides at Church festivals.
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I will bet that COAST continues with more financing from the likes of 180. They will use it as an agent for legitimacy.


  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Even though key members are leaving, Sawicki said that 180solutions will continue to work with anti-spyware companies to design effective industry standards.
    Now THAT is a real frightening thought... 180 setting standards HA HA ha ha... wait I gotta go !

  8. #8
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Central/Western NY State
    first time I ever heard of cracks in the wall defined as standards.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Talking C.O.A.S.T. has ceased operations.
    NOTICE: C.O.A.S.T. has ceased operations, and this website will
    be taken down permanently on April 15, 2005.


  10. #10
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    It should be a strong warning for merchants and network(s) still supporting 180Solutions. The smoke screen is going to blow up soon.

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