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Coaltioin Defines Spyware


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#1 TeMerc

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 12:09 AM

Published: July 11, 2005, 9:00 PM PDT
By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

The nascent Anti-Spyware Coalition plans to publish on Tuesday the first results of its work aimed at bolstering the fight against spyware.

The group, made up of makers of anti-spyware software, will release a proposed definition of spyware and a common lexicon, said Ari Schwartz, an associate director at the Center for Democracy and Technology which has led the work of the group. Various consumer and industry organizations helped in the effort, he said.

"Any unified approach to the spyware problem is going to require a common definition of what the problem is," Schwartz said. "One of the biggest challenges we have had with spyware has been agreeing on what it is."

The creation of the Anti-Spyware Coalition was first reported by CNET News.com, last month.

Spyware and adware have become a major headache for computer users over the past years. Still, purveyors of the software defend the programs as legitimate marketing tools and take issue with anti-spyware makers when their product is flagged and removed. The coalition's goal is to draw clear lines, ultimately to help consumers keep their PCs clean.

The coalition defines spyware narrowly as software that gathers information about the user and is installed without adequate user notice, consent or control. The definition would mark as spyware any programs that are downloaded and installed surreptitiously or that track what Web sites people visit, for example.

An expanded definition also includes other potentially malicious programs, such as software that provides backdoors for hackers or serves up ads on the user's screen.

In that definition, spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies are described as those that "impair users' control over: material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; or collection, use, and distribution of their personal or otherwise sensitive information."

The group has also drafted procedures for dealing with software makers who believe their product has been unfairly flagged as spyware.

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#2 TeMerc

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:31 AM

About the Anti-Spyware Coalition

The ASC is a group dedicated to building a consensus about definitions and best practices in the debate surrounding spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies. Composed of anti-spyware software companies, academics, and consumer groups, the ASC seeks to bring together a diverse array of perspective on the problem of controlling spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies.


Current members:
  • Aluria
  • AOL
  • Computer Associates
  • EarthLink
  • HP
  • Lavasoft
  • McAfee Inc.
  • Microsoft
  • PC Tools
  • Safer-Networking Ltd.
  • Symantec
  • Tenebril
  • Trend Micro
  • Webroot Software
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at Boalt Hall,
  • UC Berkeley School of Law
  • The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
  • The Cyber Security Industry Alliance


================================================

The ASC invites the public and all interested parties to comment on its draft definitions document. Comments which will be considered and incorporated into the final draft, to be released in the fall of 2005.

In order to accommodate the schedule for the final release of the Definitions in early fall, the public comment period will be limited to 30 days.

All comments must be submitted by August 12, 2005.


Do so here

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