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.: Big Firms' Ad Bucks Also Fund Spyware - 9th May 2005

"Fortune 500 members are among the unwitting backers of software that sneaks into computers. Blue-chip companies are sponsoring more than TV shows and golf tournaments to promote their products: They are inadvertently underwriting computer spyware too.

Larry Ingram found that out last month after spyware infested computers owned by Minnesota's Hennepin County. The uninvited software spewed ads for such companies as car maker Mercedes-Benz and online travel agency Ingram, who oversees security for the county's 11,000 computers, said those companies might have relied perhaps unknowingly on unscrupulous advertising middlemen..."
[LA Times]

.: FAQ: How Real ID will affect you - 6th May 2005

"What's all the fuss with the Real ID Act about?
President Bush is expected to sign an $82 billion military spending bill soon that will, in part, create electronically readable, federally approved ID cards for Americans.

What does that mean for me?
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service. Practically speaking, your driver's license likely will have to be reissued to meet federal standards.

The Real ID Act hands the Department of Homeland Security the power to set these standards and determine whether state drivers' licenses and other ID cards pass muster. Only ID cards approved by Homeland Security can be accepted "for any official purpose" by the feds..."

.: Wider Fallout Seen as Intermix Spyware Probe Continues - 4th May 2005

"Though New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office declined to say which companies might be involved, the agency says it collected information on approximately 30 companies during the inquiry that led to the Intermix suit and that the investigation continues.

In what some see as a hint of additional fallout to come from the first major enforcement action against spyware being planted through otherwise legitimate Web sites, Ask Jeeves has found it necessary to respond to accusations that its various sites enable downloading of unwanted programs. Meanwhile, the office of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said the investigation that last week resulted in a lawsuit potentially worth tens of millions of dollars against online marketing firm Intermix, continues and could result in additional actions against more Web companies..."
[E-commerce Times]

.: Research: Spyware industry worth billions - 4th May 2005

"Despite reductions in the number of computers infected by spyware applications, the troublesome software has created a billion-dollar industry that continues to plague both consumers and businesses, researchers said on Tuesday.

According to the State of Spyware Report, issued by security software maker Webroot, the number of computers infected with spyware applications remains relatively high despite growing awareness of the epidemic and modest success in controlling it. Webroot's independent research and data gathered by its Spy Audit service, which uses software designed to look for spyware, showed that 88 percent of the consumer machines in the study harbored some form of unwanted program during the first quarter of 2005..."

.: Adware/Spyware Vendor Sued Over 'Invasive' Software - 29th Apr 2005

"New York State has gone on the attack against spyware and adware by filing a lawsuit against a Los Angeles-based marketing company that allegedly installed "invasive" software onto consumers' computers without proper notice as part of free software downloads.

In an announcement today, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said he had filed the lawsuit against Intermix Media, a 6-year-old Internet marketing company. "Spyware and adware are more than an annoyance," Spitzer said in the statement. "These fraudulent programs foul machines, undermine productivity, and in many cases frustrate consumers' efforts to remove them from their computers. These issues can serve to be a hindrance to the growth of e-commerce..."

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