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  1. #1
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Why Your Spyware Scanner May Not Catch Some Adware
    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,120914,00.asp

    The next time you run a scan with your anti-spyware tool, it might miss some programs. Several anti-spyware firms, including Aluria, Lavasoft, and PestPatrol, have quietly stopped detecting adware from companies like Claria and WhenU--a process called delisting.
    Although the article doesn't cover all the reasons this is happening.

    Seems the majority of the talk regarding parasites has shifted away from what our issues with parasites has been from day...infringement on our businesses. I'm hard pressed to remember the last time I've seen those issues being discussed in all the media. Of course, when an application is delisted then it is going to have a much longer shelf life on a computer system.

    Of course these companies have seen the handwriting on the wall and knew some type of reform regarding their software would happen. It sure seems that the reform is happening along a vein that works best for them: focus on distribution/privacy and not directly on their revenue model.

    Managing to use the 'reform' to their favor and get themselves delisted from removal applications seems to be a pretty good coup on their part. I wonder who else is being successful along these lines besides WhenU and Claria mentioned in the article.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    All the more reason to push Microsoft's Anti-Spyware Beta solution on your visitors. Gates can't, and won't, be bought off by the Adwhores. I could give a hoot about any of the scare tactics of the other programs out there that by default whack affiliate network cookies. Then factor in that most Anti-Spyware programs using Ads are actually owned by the spyware companies hawking something that disables the real programs and then sell off the duped customer's info to the Adwhores. Those distributing packages like SpywareNo are performing Jehad on westerners by planting system disabling trojan horse viruses and malware bundles with their application.
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  3. #3
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    Kellie - great post! We need to keep our eyes on this!!!! Bullying tactics may be the root cause for some anti-spyware folks delisting some folks. The story of former bad actors reforming and going clean should remind everyone of the character of these folks. The momentum they have (and cash they have bankrolled) to continue to do business, was created during times when they could get away with stealing and lying and cheating - they admit this - the are saying they no longer use certain practices... Now the reformed folks want to leverage their past and become mainstream.

    People like us who don't cheat (have morals) also generally also have room in their hearts to forgive - we set ourselves up to go too easy on people:
    "It's unfair to permanently blacklist a company based on its past behavior, so some delisting is inevitable."

    Is it really unfair to permanently blacklist a thieving application or company? We continue to think about "fairness" while they continue to think of ways to dupe people. This is the nature of the landscape.

    When we reach for fairness and welcome them to play nicely, this happens:
    "But delisting an adware application is a dangerous proposition for anti-spyware developers. In the past, some spyware and adware makers have changed their software enough to get delisted only to resume the activity that got them flagged in the first place."

    Does anyone think the past transgressions against merchants, affiliates and consumers was accidental or unintended or unplanned? Has any money been returned? Has any reparation for clogging computers nationwide been made?

    I think we should focus extra resources on monitoring those claiming to be "reformed". For me, it's analogous to keeping an EXTREMELY CLOSE EYE on a registered sex offender or previously convicted pedophile who's moved into your neighborhood. They have a right to try and be my neighbor - and I have a right (and burning desire) to catch them doing the wrong thing again and exposing anything I find that's suspicious.


    And, as Mike said, Microsoft is NOT afraid to call these guys what they are!

    Here's the breaking news on TWO bills making their way quickly through congress:
    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,120985,00.asp

    Article says:
    Microsoft issued a statement praising both new bills as providing "important tools in the battle against spyware and other deceptive software." But Microsoft also called for the Senate to include language that would protect vendors of antispyware software from lawsuits by companies distributing spyware. Two antispyware companies have been sued by firms asking that their software not be removed from users' computers, with Claria, a distributor of pop-up advertising formerly known as Gator, filing a lawsuit against PC Pitstop in September 2003. This year, Claria also asked Computer Associates International to stop its PestPatrol software from deleting Claria ad-targeting software, but CA refused.

    Microsoft released its own Windows AntiSpyware software in January. "In its current form, these bills leave companies that are responding to consumer demand for strong antispyware tools vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits brought by the very companies responsible for the proliferation of spyware and other deceptive software," said Jack Krumholtz, managing director of federal government affairs for Microsoft, in a statement.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yeppers ...it read to me like Bill Gates gets his jollies by Bi*ch slapping the Adwhores abusing his customer base. You can bet even the Adwhore supporters building systems around Microsoft, like Mike Dell, have gotten some heated phone calls and letters from Gates. Dell says to Gates he's getting clobbered in repair/support expenses by security holes in Windows and IE. Gates to Dell ...then stop using Adware/Spyware to push Dell products monitizing your system whacking Adwhores....EOM
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Bullying tactics may be the root cause for some anti-spyware folks delisting some folks.
    Certainly a part of the reason. But also remember my post regarding adware attaching removal software to their products requiring the delisting. BTW, I noticed that clause in the WA legislation. The adware companies score two-fold when they engage that tactic: perception of being legitimate and concerned for the consumer and gaining the position of it turning from 'bullying' to law in place to become delisted.

    The story of former bad actors reforming and going clean should remind everyone of the character of these folks. The momentum they have (and cash they have bankrolled) to continue to do business, was created during times when they could get away with stealing and lying and cheating - they admit this - the are saying they no longer use certain practices... Now the reformed folks want to leverage their past and become mainstream.
    Depends on what you are talking about with regards to 'going clean' and being given a second chance (not meaning your overall argument to second chances). While I understand exactly what you are saying and the point you are making, there's one piece missing. There seems to be an underlying assumption in your comments that these guys are listed/delisted in part based on their 'theiving' behavior. Maybe with regards to AM (accepted/terminated from programs), but I don't think so with spyware removal applications. However what if the spyware removal applications did indeed look at infringement on other's business as a criteria? Now wouldn't that be beneficial to us? Wouldn't that give the spyware removal apps justification to keep these guys in their definitions when they've reportedly 'gone clean' along the lines of being spyware (used in the sense these companies use the term)? Wouldn't it be beneficial to us if some of the laws coming out would actually address the business infringement part of what these applications are doing (which is the ultimate root of the problem and what is keeping them in business) instead of pretty much just privacy issues and consent of downloads? Why aren't we really talking about the infringement of business anymore?

    The question on my mind is as legislation comes down with the focus on privacy/methods of installation and the major players 'reform' (or hide their tracks) just enough to meet the letter of the law, to what degree will they then have a legal leg to have themselves delisted? To what degree will they then be able to say they are 'legal' (pointing to compliance with the law)? And most importantly, to what degree are they likely to modify the true behavior of their software with regards to how the generate their revenue (not privacy issues and not distribution issues)? My opinion to the last question is little to none because they won't have to.

    I think we should focus extra resources on monitoring those claiming to be "reformed".
    Agree, but I probably have a different view as to why that needs to happen. For me those claiming to be 'reformed' never were really reformed since the need to feed off of other's businesses for their software to even functional at all has never really changed. Sure they've shifted their focus on who and sometimes how they feed off of others, but they've never changed in any meaningful way that need to feed off others. And they've been pretty dang successful in shifting public discourse away from that particular behavior of theirs.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The networks have condoned and monitized the BHO's original ebiz plan, which hasn't been changed over time. The BHO is able to force plant any network sales tracking cookie on ALL internet paths to a merchant's web site. They all have an on/off switch to recognize referral links coming from other affiliates coded links restricting popups for that session only....if they wish to fly under the complaince teams radar. They ALL set cookies on non-commissionable actions like merchnat e-mails, URL direct type-ins, bookmarks and "favorite" links. Thus the double dipping enrichment to the networks and cookie washing of the domain bound affiliate.

    Only the AM's, running the program for the merchant, would agree to pay commissions on non-commissionable actions. The real merchant never would accept this! Reality sets in when we discover that most major merchant programs are managed by network owned or network endorsed AM firms. The networks take double dipping fees and also the AM firm commission bonuses from the non-commissionable actions of BHO's and forced cookie stuffers. NONE OF THIS IS KNOWN TO THE HIJACKED SHOPPER.

    If the above BHO senerios defraud the real merchant, forcing them to pay commissions on non-commissionable actions, then existing laws apply with no need to address the definitions of adware vs spyware. More news emphasis has to migrate to who is getting monitized by unauthorized BHO popups and spyware system hijackings. That might involve some Homeland Security and Terrorist War issues as the networks wash hundreds of millions of dollars from USA merchant icons.
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  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    If the above BHO senerios defraud the real merchant, forcing them to pay commissions on non-commissionable actions, then existing laws apply with no need to address the definitions of adware vs spyware. More news emphasis has to migrate to who is getting monitized by unauthorized BHO popups and spyware system hijackings. That might involve some Homeland Security and Terrorist War issues as the networks wash hundreds of millions of dollars from USA merchant icons to un-identified affiliates."

    Might be why LS, and soon the other networks, are forced to verify who's getting those commission checks. The big dogs are following the money trail...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Yeppers ...it read to me like Bill Gates gets his jollies by Bi*ch slapping the Adwhores abusing his customer base. You can bet even the Adwhore supporters building systems around Microsoft, like Mike Dell, have gotten some heated phone calls and letters from Gates. Dell says to Gates he's getting clobbered in repair/support expenses by security holes in Windows and IE. Gates to Dell ...then stop using Adware/Spyware to push Dell products monitizing your system whacking Adwhores....EOM
    Michael Dell seems to me to be the kind of person who will do anything to make an extra dollar or two.

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