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Why I hate spyware

Alright, aside from the obvious (it's intrusive, it takes up system resources, it's a nuisance, most of it is used to send back habit information, browser hyjackers make it more difficult to perform searches on the info I'm looking for... etc.) I also hate spyware becuase it's like a little scam.

I know to avoid it. Most of you know to avoid it. You recognize it when you see it. Many people don't. My mom for instance would have no idea what to do with a lot of this shit. Bless her though, her reaction is to ignore it and ask me later.

I just looked up some lyrics using alltheweb.com I landed at a site called Lyricsdomain.com
Upon entering the page of lyrics I was looking for I ended up with a download certificate asking me to install "IE PLUGIN" after looking over the terms of agreement. I always look at these things because I'm a little obsessed now with EULAs and "privacy" agreements.
I think it's neat in a really scary way that they tell you right up front exactly all the ways they'll be invading your privacy, sharing information about you, and generally making your online experience unsatisfying and potentially dangerous.

I go to the license info site and yup, there it is. Toolbar, hijacker, ad pusher, and best of all, Porn content! The thing that set me off about this one wasn't that it was there. But that when I clicked Cancel I got a note from the site telling me that I *had* to click yes to the agreement and download the software in order to view the site. So I said okay, and clicked cancel again. Assholes.



If you decide to change your homepage at a later date our passthrough toolbar will be installed in your webbrowser. This toolbar will remain active as long as this software is installed on your system.

I understand that, by accepting these terms and conditions, bookmarks that may lead to content of an adult and/or sexual nature will be added to my system, which may be removed manually or via un-installation of the software.

In order for us to keep this software free from time to time promotional offers from our sponsors will be displayed to you.

To prevent your browser from becoming cluttered when our toolbar is installed, any other toolbars you currently have visible will be deactivated. They can be restored manually through the IE view menu.


But I think my favorite thing in the EULA is right here..

"In the event of dispute resolution between us concerning the software or service or this agreement, you agree to pay all direct and/or indirect costs arising out or related to the dispute, claim or controversy, including but not limited to all legal costs, transportation, accommodation, telephone calls. You also agree to pay BLAZEFIND.COM US$300 per hour to attend dispute resolution events including transport time."

And the most disturbing part of the privacy agreement is where they sell they don't sell any of your information, they just share it with their partners. this info includes what you give them when you register (name, email, birth date, gender, zip code, occupation, industry, and person insterests), or if you sign up for their financial services your mailing address, info about your assets and your Social security number.
Also, they track where you go and what you do online and give that info to their partners as well.

Then later they let you know that they never ever *sell* this info.
WHEW! Scared me there!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
mjfgates
Mar. 29th, 2004 03:22 pm (UTC)
I should go write some spyware, that activates your webcam and takes pictures of you while you're looking at the porn, and then automagically sends the pics up to my server. Then I can blackmail you by threatening to send photos of you whacking off to everyone at your work.

Hey, it'll all be mentioned in the EULA, so no problem, right?
maddening
Mar. 30th, 2004 09:15 am (UTC)
Exactly.
It's all an upfront business venture and by using the software in the first place, you agreed to a contract.
Should have read it. It was right there and available.

You find out weird shit in EULAs like apparently, according to the info, you're only supposed to use and install AIM if you have a parent's permission or are 18 years old.
diffrentcolours
Mar. 30th, 2004 01:43 am (UTC)
This is why I installed Firebird on my 'rents computer. I just tested and lyricsdomain.com doesn't try to install anything :)
maddening
Mar. 30th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC)
well and firebird has a *great* pop up blocker too. If it hadn't friend an entire directory when I went to uninstall and reinstall because of some goofy error I'd be feeling a lot better about it general.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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