The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

FTC to start going after spyware patrons

Last March, I wrote an article about the connection between mainstream advertisers and adware (sometimes called spyware) vendors. In short, advertisers were engaged in hiring advertising agencies which were (often through other proxies) paying to have their advertisements run on the computers of victims of spyware.

The key point being that if it weren't for advertising money from entities willing to look the other way, there would be no incentive for the spyware industry.

According to yesterday's Washington Post, in an article entitled "Stopping Spyware at the Source", in recent months, the FTC has filed deceptive-advertising cases against two spyware distributors (Direct Revenue and Zango) and plans to start going after some of the big-name advertising agencies that hire the spyware distributors.

This on the heels of action taken by New York state against three large advertisers in January.

It is hoped that the FTC campaign will sufficiently disrupt the spyware economy that it will no longer be economical to distribute spyware.

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