mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

But if we make spyware illegal, then only criminals will have spyware...

Spyware supplier WhenU recently obtained an injunction against a Utah law that would ban spyware.

I really have mixed feelings on this, because it's a battle of two groups I'm not fond of - spyware perveyors and people who have no idea how to use a computer. I work at a college helpdesk, and I regularly see computers with tons of popups, multiple "toolbars", ect - we've had students where AdAware has found around 1000 objects. It has a huge cost in terms of time and user aggrivation.

On the other hand, much of the spyware that gets installed is because of poor user practices - unpatched machines, downloading and installing well-known spyware-laden programs like Kazaa, clicking on any install box that comes up, ect. I rarely have problems with my home or work PC's, because I'm good about keeping them up to date and because I practice safe surfing.

I worry when the government steps in and takes away any rights, even when those rights annoy people. What is going to solve spyware is not laws, but educated computer users. Of course, when the average computer user becomes smart enough avoid spyware, pigs will be all up in the sky.

5 Comments:

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Mad AntiSpy Beeotch! said...

Mixed feelings??? haha, what a stupid ASSS!! I've been using computers for 12 years, non stop. Im what you call an Advanced User. I know how to remove anything and make any computer work, BUTTT,.. they just keep coming back, their like Frikkin Zombies, you can't really kill them, they just reinstall. Im an art director at a computer graphics company and a music producer. Spyware is a Big Ass pain in the ASS! I did not ask for another 100 set of problems that spyware cause. They take so much time to clean with my big ass hard drives. They have no right, I NEVER clicked something that said, "Yes I want to have multiple problems and a recorder on my computer now, thank you". They install nomatter if you click anything or not. "The Government takes away rights"?? the right of who, idiot? those who sneak on your computer and do stuff that they have no right to do?? Wow! Plus how can you educate users when spyware mostly invisibly installs itself? a little riddle for yuh. Your like the one guy that voted against the bill that might soon be passed to make Spyware Illigal. 399 voted towards it being passed. Can't wait till we see those Mutha Ufkers going to Prizon for being Idiot snooping Ass holes! have a nice day :)

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous ancient Papyrus Scroll said...

Mixed feelings eh? Perhaps you like to wear armor vests when shopping in the mall? Shooting people should be legal as they can wear bullet vests if they don*t like... I hope this depicts the way I see this. You know, spyware installs itself giving you links to remove spyware. That is like Mafia people come to you telling you "You need protection, pay us.". Spyware gives you links to antispyware sites - your PC has been infected against your will and is offered remedy for money.
If THAT is questionably legal I don*t know any further. Here in germany we call this sort of thing "Raping of an individual*s rights." Those fukkers who make spyware break into your privacy exactly as people break into your house, and now don*t say the house can be locked with a key (Anti Spyware program) because they come in anyway if you don*t change the lock all few weeks (Aka update the spyware program). Actually as it is your house, you should be able to even leave the door open wide, because no one has to go inside who doesn*t belong there. Spyware is no question if illegal or not, and questioning it is like "Should robbers be put in jail or be legal?" Right now I*m having new spyware on my PC again and I HAVE HAD some protection but it came to me anyway. People who*s PCs are infected can*t be held responsible for that someone else infected them by writing that. Viruses are the same. Thats like someone throws a bomb at you and you catch it and it doesn*t blow up. Barely escaped with your life (in this case your harddisk intact) they come to you sayin "He*s got a bomb in his hands, he*s a terrorist!"
If the laws won*t do something against this, the users will I bet.
Tired of being forced to update programs (and still pray no Trojan will break in), people will make programs that find where the Trojans are located, waiting to be spread, and drop Trojan eliminizers there like bombs go down, these programs will make the websites the harmful shit is stored on stop to work. Funnily, that is considered a crime then but wrecking peoples PCs with that shit ain*T. People should fight for a clean net, not in the end side (protecting the PC*s by developing protective (Shelter) software) but elminating the source sites one by one. Best would be eliminating the entire machines, so it would be costful to those who try to infect people. That would be nothing but great and everyone who just spend an entire afternoon like I did to remove the shit (and it still is not all clean) would agree those bastards who injected it into our PC*s should feel our wrath. But that*s illegal. They give it to us, thats legal?! Note the original word is "Spy", and is spying someone ever legal, plus doing something to someone*s property who strictly doesn*t want it and also, refusing to let him alone (aka to let the filth be uninstalled)?
Some hackers should do mankind a favor and write those missile-a-like programs, surfing the net and everytime some server tries to infect them, they shield that and then drop their projectile to the particular server and wreck it once and for all. They unleashed innocent user*s hate, those users who know how to may strike back! The Spywar'z must begin! >:)

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Mr. Prevost said...

Spyware should be made totally 100% illegal. From my personal experiences of cleaning up computers which are downloading MP3's off the net with software, that piece of software with loads of spyware is dangerous to network integrity. On the comment of Mixed feelings, I have none. Market research can be easily conducted in a way less sneaky and illegal way. Spyware is as invasive as telemarketers, spam, etc... So, we all should take the initiative and write to our representatives in Congress & Senate (for the folks in USA) and our MPs in Parliament, Senators in the Senate (for those in Canada, England, EU, Etc...) and push really hard to make all spyware illegal and those guilty pay big time, because it takes me so long to clean up the trash that they put on systems, and to add to that... all fellow system administrators should bill all those companies for the time spent removing the software and make them stop. However, administrators cannot do it alone, we have to educate, put in place policies that prohibit use of spyware in companies, establishments, etc... and have a swift process to deal with spyware present.

Peace ;)

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spyware ... denial of service should be made illegal - PERIOD. Just because someone is highly computer literate or not should not come into the equation. But to allow anyone the legal right to use a storage media that does not rightfully belong to them, that ought to be regarded as breaking and entering.

Now, I hear folk saying, "I don't have any problems, I practice safe surfing" etc etc etc ... well, fine, that's great, but lets say, you go out one day and come back to find someone has crowbarred your window open, got into your home and smeared poo all over your walls, I dare say you might be a little annoyed. Especially when the community instantly say, "Oh well, I've seen him open a window from time to time, so obviously, that invites criminals". You see what I'm saying?

I'm simply trying to say, fair enough, crime prevention is a good thing, but there should be laws in place to stamp on the bad guys.

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Sage Brushfire said...

Well I dunno how you could have mixed feelings over that. What rights would the government be taking away? I can't think of a single one. It should be illegal to distribute software that doesn't explicitly state it's purpose and methods and require the user to give his or her consent before installation; it should be illegal to distribute software that records private information or implements advertisements without an explicit user license that must be read through and agreed too before instalation.

I see nothing wrong with that. I don't think it would be a lot more effective considering the anonymity of the web and ability to make the software but at least it's a very tiny step forward.

 

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