Since there was some interest in the original post, I'm posting this as a
follow-up that may interest some - maybe not. Sorry there's nothing about
woodworking and the post is not meant to start a flame war or a discussion
on politics. Some may want to forward this to their own states Attorney
General's Office and see if they can't be prodded into doing the same.
I mentioned in a response that the NYS Attorney Generals Office was being
very aggressive (Eliot Spitzer) about internet abuse and just today (28 Apr
05) this article from AP appeared. Take note of the laws he's using to go
after this particular company.
ALBANY, N.Y.(AP) New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Thursday sued a
major Internet marketer, claiming the company installed "spyware" and
"adware" that secretly install nuisance pop-up advertisements which can slow
and crash personal computers.
Shares of the company, Intermix Media Inc. of Los Angeles, fell 55 cents, or
11 percent, to $4.25 in midday trading on the American Stock Exchange.
Spitzer said the suit combats the redirecting of home computer users to
unwanted Web sites and its own Web site that includes ads, the adding of
unnecessary toolbar items and the delivery of unwanted ads that pop up on
computer screens. After a six-month investigation Spitzer concluded the
company installed a wide range of advertising software on countless personal
"Spyware and adware are more than an annoyance," Spitzer said. "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."
An Intermix spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Spitzer's civil suit accuses Intermix of violating state General Business
Law provisions against false advertising and deceptive business practices.
He also accuses them of trespass under New York common law.
The company is accused of downloading ads and software that directs ads to a
computer based on the user's activities. Spitzer's investigators said the
downloads then attach to computers, often slowing their operation and
crashing the computers as well as interfering with use of the computer
through pop-up ads. Often the downloads were made without notice when a user
visited a Web site, played a game or accepted a screen saver. Sometimes the
user was asked permission through an often vague reference in a lengthy
licensing agreement which could be misleading or inaccurate, investigators
Spitzer, after taking on Wall Street and the insurance industry, is taking a
harder look at Internet companies he feels are stunting the growth of
Internet commerce, or e-commerce.
"We are looking across the industry at these practices because it really
does go to the core of e-commerce," said Kenneth Dreifach, chief of
Spitzer's Internet Bureau, "Increasingly, people don't feel in control."
The advertisers, which include Fortune 500 companies, aren't targeted.
The programs sometimes omitted "un-install" applications and couldn't be
removed by most computers' add/remove function, Spitzer said.
More than 3.7 million downloads were made to New Yorkers alone and although
there is no national estimate, Spitzer seeks a nationwide resolution of the
"When dealing with these types of online practices, effectively you're
talking about a nationwide resolution because it's very difficult if not
impossible to isolate your practices based on a state," said Assistant
Attorney General Justin Brookman.
Dreifach said negotiations with the company didn't result in a settlement.
And more cases are possible.
"One of Internet users' biggest frustrations today is unwanted software that
sneaks onto computers without their owner's consent and cannot be
uninstalled," Ari Schwartz, the Associate Director Center for Democracy and
Technology, "The practices alleged in this case are widespread on the
On the Net:
....................and now back to the wRECk............