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The Courts Government Privacy Software News

Three Companies Shut Down For Spyware Bundling 95

SenseOfHumor writes "A U.S. Court has shut down three companies for secretly bundling spyware. The assets of Enternet Media Inc. and Conspy & Co. Inc., based in California, and Iwebtunes, based in Ohio, have been frozen pending further court action, the FTC said. The court also ordered all three firms to halt downloads of the software." From the article: "According to a complaint filed in district court in Los Angeles, Enternet and Conspy bundled their malicious software with music files, song lyrics and cellular telephone ring tones offered free on a range of Web sites. The software was also disguised as a security upgrade for Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer Web browser."
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Three Companies Shut Down For Spyware Bundling

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  • Re:Enternet 300? (Score:2, Informative)

    by BushCheney08 ( 917605 ) on Friday November 11, 2005 @05:48PM (#14011839)
    Admittedly, the Enternet 300 program was a PPPoE client, which was necessary at a time when PPPoE wasn't natively supported in the OS. As for the "modem" thing, they're actually transceivers.
  • And they will continue the same business practices as soon as the dust has settled if they're not slapped, hard.

    Getting told off by the President of the United States isn't getting slapped down? No offense, but when the most powerful political figure in the world speaks (save your HHGttG jokes, we've heard them), you had better listen or face the consequences later.

    Just because they got slapped down in a fairly "nice" way, doesn't mean that they aren't going to be smarting for a very long time to come.
  • Re:Enternet 300? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday November 11, 2005 @06:11PM (#14011993) Homepage
    No, Enternet 300 came from Efficient Networks, and Siemens now owns and supports the Enternet 300 product line.

    If anybody cares, there's still a Enternet 300 support site. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2005 @06:30PM (#14012153)
    with the exception of BMG label Arista's Brian Wilson Christmas Album, that doesn't appear to have the rootkit, and I will buy appropriate copies for gifting. Sony bought BMG a few months ago.

    I hope your post was intended to be funny.

    Sony has at various points claimed that there was no rootkit, that it could be uninstalled and that there was no spyware and that Apples are not affected. They have also stated that there is anti-copying technology on all of their CDs. You can safely assume that all Sony/BMG (and subsidiary) CDs have one or more of:

    - Prescratching (deliberately malformed tracks that will play correctly in most players but will cause older copying software to fail on a read error).

    - Watermarking. A serial number encoding in the audio. To the audiophile, this might be apparent as an intermittent burst of static or noise.

    - Autorun malware. This isn't the first time they've done this nor the first time they've said they would stop.

    What you decide to give your friends (and enemies) for Christmas is your business but I try to make it a habit not to support unethical companies nor to give my friends malware.

    Why not support local studios and local bands? Aside from supporting artists instead of lawyers, it means you definitely won't be rebuilding your friend's Vista system in three years because Sony "forgot" to mention some DRM. I would at least suggest waiting 6 months or so to see if Sony has put any surprises on the CD.

  • by T3h_3vi1_d3ad ( 920693 ) on Friday November 11, 2005 @09:08PM (#14013054) Homepage
    Hate to break this to you bubba but Sony was not "slapped down" by PotUS. They were admonished by Stewart Baker from the Department of Homeland Security 1/the_bush_admini.html [] , huge difference. But more to the point no that isn't being "slapped down" as the Department of Homeland Security has little to no ability to directly impact what Sony is doing. As an aside even if it had been shrub it would have been less effective given the fact that his influence and strong arm tactics are becoming less effective all the time. Sorry to burst your smarmy bubble but that's just the way it is, (save your mod points, I don't give a shit about them). If these companies can be shut down for exploiting computers and installing spyware then Sony can as well, they wont however due to their sheer size. The people who were prosecuted in this case deserved what they got but Sony et all will go along unscathed because they have deeper pockets and higher paid lawyers. Despite the fact that they deserve the same treatment under the law as this group of companies received.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."