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Sony Rootkit Redux: Canadian Business Groups Lobby For Right To Install Spyware 240

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist reports that a coalition of Canadian industry groups, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, are demanding legalized spyware for private enforcement purposes. The potential scope of coverage is breathtaking: a software program secretly installed by an entertainment software company designed to detect or investigate alleged copyright infringement would be covered by this exception. This exception could potentially cover programs designed to block access to certain websites (preventing the contravention of a law as would have been the case with SOPA), attempts to access wireless networks without authorization, or even keylogger programs tracking unsuspecting users (detection and investigation)."
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Sony Rootkit Redux: Canadian Business Groups Lobby For Right To Install Spyware

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  • by Kardos ( 1348077 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:23PM (#42812799)

    will you be installing your spyware on my computer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:31PM (#42812921)

    My own computer running Windows 7 was hacked in a drive-by when I visited a website (didn't download anything), and the drive began spinning wildly. The router logs showed connections to the Dutch anti-piracy group, BREIN. If it's not currently legal, it isn't stopping them.

  • Re:Open Source (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fredprado ( 2569351 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:42PM (#42813073)
    Only if you or anyone whom you trust can read code. That is not so hard to find. Open source is open for all, and chances are that anything fishy inserted in open source software will be detected by someone and the whistle will be blown.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:57PM (#42813347)
    Read TFA. This would allow you to do exactly that.

    a program that is installed by or on behalf of a person to prevent, detect, investigate, or terminate activities that the person reasonably believes (i) present a risk or threatens the security, privacy, or unauthorized or fraudulent use, of a computer system, telecommunications facility, or network, or (ii) involves the contravention of any law of Canada, of a province or municipality of Canada or of a foreign state;

    So if you think a police officer, politician, or someone working at the government is breaking any law - Canadian, provincial, or foreign, you can break into their network and computers and install your rootkit and keylogger. Hackers and groups like Anonymous would simply have to claim "we broken into the system because we suspected the owner was violating Moldavian law" or something like that, and they'd be in the clear.

  • by VitaminB52 ( 550802 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:58PM (#42813365) Journal
    I dislike your solution for the problem.

    However, I hate the problem more than I dislike the solution.

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:05PM (#42813455) Homepage

    Who says they have to distribute the spyware with paid products? They might simply pay computer manufacturers to include it, similar with drivers (closed source GFX card drivers for Linux?) or any other products. They wouldn't need to ask you or even tell you. They might even be able to have such software installed on the BIOS level with every motherboard sold if they pay the manufacturers enough money. I can't see of any way to avoid it if they're legally allowed to.

  • Damages (Score:4, Interesting)

    by boristdog ( 133725 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:07PM (#42813481)

    And when the software inevitably bricks a few thousand (or hundred thousand, or million) devices and people lose untold billions worth of data...Will these companies be required to provide just compensation since no EULA was even clicked?

    How much are those lost photos of a couple's new baby worth to them, anyway?

  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:03PM (#42814811)
    Funny enough, I'm pretty sure my BD ripper program doesn't phone anybody, especially as it's not on the net.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972