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Three Companies Shut Down For Spyware Bundling

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the more-in-the-vein-of-sony dept.

The Courts 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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OUTGOING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011699)

HELLO WORLD
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HELLO WORLD
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K-BYE

Re:OUTGOING (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14012219)

Can anybody explain these trolls in particular?

Re:OUTGOING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013229)

This is a cipher. I'm sure someone will eventually decrypt it...and find some stupid message.

So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (5, Funny)

4r0g (467711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011709)

Obvious case there.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (2, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011739)

Did you miss the last story [slashdot.org] or what? It's still on the front page, so if you hurry you can add your 2 cents. :-)

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (1)

4r0g (467711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011825)

No, I didn't miss it. I think by doing that Sony BMG just acknowledged that the claims were true. And they will continue the same business practices as soon as the dust has settled if they're not slapped, hard. Despite distancing themselves from Sony BMG, EMI is still pushing forward with their "2nd generation copy protection" as well. Just keep those lawsuits coming...

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (1, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011907)

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:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (1, Offtopic)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012005)

> Getting told off by the President of the United States isn't getting slapped down?

No, it isn't. Having executives prosecuted for felonies, exactly as they have earned, is getting slapped down.

If you or I did what they did, it'd be open and shut... and "getting told off" by the president would NOT be one of the things we'd suffer.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (1)

Monokeros (200892) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012022)

The way I read the story [washingtonpost.com], W didn't say anything. It was Stewart Baker, his newly appointed "Assistant Secretary of Nobody knows who I am or what my job is; not that it matters because I'm probably just as qualified as Michael Brown so I won't really be doing much anyway."

I seem to have gone off on a tangent. Anyway. It wasn't the President who "told them off" in a fairly nice way.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (2, Informative)

T3h_3vi1_d3ad (920693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013054)

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 http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/1 1/the_bush_admini.html [washingtonpost.com] , 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.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015072)

Getting told off by the President of the United States isn't getting slapped down?

It wasn't Bush, and he (Stewart Baker, Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for policy) didn't mention Sony by name.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (5, Insightful)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011892)

Answer: never. The main difference between Sony BMG and these three companies is that these three companies are/were very small. Once you get enough captital to bribe members of the government with, you basically become untouchable.

I guess this episode should become a lesson in all MBA classes. If your company is small then keep your head low and do good business. Once the company becomes big enough, _then_ you get to do the nasty things.

Unless your name is Enron (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011982)

The bigger you are the nastier you can be. Just don't piss off half the electorate or all your political connections will be for naught.

Re:Unless your name is Enron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14012989)

Why bother worrying about that?? Just make friends with all parties that are likely to be elected.

Re:Unless your name is Enron (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013265)

Why bother worrying about that?? Just make friends with all parties that are likely to be elected.

But if you're wildly unpopular with the electorate, then your politicians won't stay bought. That's what happened to Enron.

Re:Unless your name is Enron (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014681)

Why bother worrying about that?? Just make friends with all parties that are likely to be elected.

You still need to be careful. Any politican who will take your money is also likely to be dishonest enough to not stay bought if it comes down to a choice between your cause and their neck.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (3, Insightful)

qmVSE*w!7e,QF(, (924179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012170)

I'm no fan of Sony's actions, but there's another big difference here: Sony at least has the excuse of attempting to do something that is legal, i.e., protect its intellectual property. That doesn't make Sony's rootkit acceptable, but it can at least claim a pure motive. Not so when you're telling grandma that she's getting a security fix just to give her spyware instead.

Re:So when will Sony BMG be shut down? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016074)

Once you get enough captital to bribe members of the government with, you basically become untouchable.

Which is why Standard Oil and Carnegie Steel are still the dominant monopolies in their fields.

they think they can hide by pulling their rootkit (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011928)

but they've already infected millions. Sony gets no money from me, until they have rectified every one of their infections, and promise never to do it again.

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.

Re:they think they can hide by pulling their rootk (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

I'm checking for ish-ware, of course (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013433)

nothing that seems to have invaded either the mac or the win-me machine at this juncture, so the older BMG stuff appears to be in play on this disc. mac shows no files other than music files on the disc. there are no EULA pop-ups, and no calls home. I checked on a hard disk I don't care about.

the local scene is vibrant around the twin cities, but I haven't been lately, so I'm a little out of touch on it. the Cities Sampler should be out, so I can check that, of course. but my list runs from ages 20s to 80s, and the Brian Wilson Band seems safe across all ages as a welcome gift. nothing like the Electrified Barbwire Noseclips would get me invited back, I'm afraid, around most of the decrepit fogies (50s) that I'm related to :-D

It's all in the name (5, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011721)

...Conspy & Co. Inc....

Now there is a great name for a company! Could it be any more obvious their products contain spyware????

Re:It's all in the name (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011754)

Now there is a great name for a company! Could it be any more obvious their products contain spyware????

Actually, yes. It's a little known lie that 'sony' is the Japanese word for "mega-evil installer of rootkits".

It's all in the font used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14012823)

Which font is that makes a word like sony look like fony? (Don't mention Disk World. They only do music with rocks in. .....Oh... ...erm..)

((Boy, does that sound like the plot for it's own sequel.))

Re:It's all in the name (4, Funny)

phpm0nkey (768038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011755)

Apparently these people didn't finish business school. If you're trying to get away with pushing spyware, it's probably best not to put the words "con" and "spy" in your company name.

Re:It's all in the name (4, Funny)

PaxTech (103481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011935)

It was all the idea of their law firm, Dewey Cheatem & Howe.

Re:It's all in the name (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012380)

Not to mention their second opinion law firm:

Takeda, Monet, and Runne.

Re:It's all in the name (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014750)

Not to mention their second opinion law firm:
Takeda, Monet, and Runne.


Or the people they contact whenever they need some construction work doing: Bodgit & Scarper Master Builders

Re:It's all in the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011791)

No, you're thinking of Prospy. Conspy is *against* spyware. This misunderstanding will all be cleared up shortly, I assume.

Re:It's all in the name (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012050)

maybe they're Italian, 'con' means 'with' there...

well, half Italian...

Re:It's all in the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14012099)

"Con" means "with" in Spanish as well.

Re:It's all in the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14014366)

Interestingly, the founder of Conspy came up with that name years before he got into adware. He came up with the name before he had been in the country very long, and he put together two words he (sort of) knew.

Yes, I said adware. As far as I know the Conspy/Enternet toolbar is _NOT_ spyware, merely adware. I know this for the same reasons I know about the orgins of the name of Conspy.

And that's right, Conspy and Enternet Media are one and the same company (founded/run by the same people).

Ring Tones (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011724)

I think people downloading obnoxious ringtones got what they deserve...

Dear Sony... (5, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011732)

If I had my way, Sony would be held accountable in a similiar manner. While these companies installed spyware, Sony actually installed a backdoor. Sony's actions are a violation of a far greater magnitude.

Re:Dear Sony... (2, Insightful)

kmahan (80459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012104)

You seem to be forgetting that Sony has a lot more money to buy off people in the Congress. So they have "friends" like Orrin Hatch to look out for them.

Re:Dear Sony... (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012182)

Sony's product was a back door? Like I can connect to a PC that listened to a Sony CD and remotely control it? I was not aware that was the case. AFAIK, the tactics Sony used are actually less intrusive than some of the spyware I have tried to remove. What some spyware companies are doing is flat out hacking (intentional spelling).

Re:Dear Sony... (1)

darilon (752912) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012382)

Yes, apparently it is a back door. Also it is harder to remove than pretty much any spyware I've heard of. Check the uninstall procedures that have been posted so far for this. It acts as a safe mode driver.

Re:Dear Sony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013741)

It's unbeleivable that such a lie would be modded up. Oh yea this is slashdot where they create their own reality. Backdoor? Please, complete lie. I'm getting pretty sick of the fanaticism on this site. It's a good thing slashdot keeps losing it's weight as the days go by or I might actually be scared of these posts.

Conspy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011735)

Conspy?!

Conspy?!!

CONSPY?

Wow - a business name that ADVERTISES that they engage in illegal behavior.

Re:Conspy? (0, Redundant)

ghoti (60903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012007)

Hey, at least they're honest! They didn't give themselves some inconspicuous feel-good name like Sony or sumpin ...

And their botnets dismantled or ? (2, Insightful)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011742)

Couldn't they just shift their online resouces and reincorporate offshore otherwise ... it's not like their resouces cant be moved or something.

Re:And their botnets dismantled or ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14012364)

If drug dealers can't afford the bribes to stop offshore jurisdictions bowing to US demands in terms of disclosure laws, do you think that spyware companies will?

Re:And their botnets dismantled or ? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012935)

...it's not like their resouces cant be moved or something.
Funny, that's what I thought "freeze their assets" meant.

Enternet 300? (4, Interesting)

planetoid (719535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011753)

Is this the same Enternet company who wrote the simple Enternet 300 DSL connection program for routerless users? I remember my ISP would bundle that program with the DSL modems you got for free when you signed up for broadband (are they called DSL "modems" or something else? lol). I wonder how far back their affiliation in spyware goes... I might have to dig up my old computer and take a look-see :/

Re:Enternet 300? (2, Informative)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Enternet 300? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011995)

Is it just me or is transceiver a silly name? Literally, "A transmitter and receiver housed together in a single unit and having some circuits in common, often for portable or mobile use." Like, whoop-de-doo. ADSL is still an analog signal, right? So why isn't it called a modem? Er, well, why isn't it technically called a modem? Its function is so similar to that of an ordinary modem that it's stunning; it's connected to a computer on a digital interface, and sends an analog signal over the same pair your POTS service is on, albeit using different frequencies...

Re:Enternet 300? (0, Offtopic)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012051)

DSL and it's variants are digital, hence the "D" for digital.

Re:Enternet 300? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14012156)

But they utilize DMT modulation to get their signal into the line. Modulation is the MO in MODEM. So, it can technically be called a modem.

Re:Enternet 300? (1)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012264)

MO in Modem stands for Modulate, as in Modulate, Demodulate..which is what is happening when a digital signal is being passed via an analog line. This is *NOT* what is happening with DSL.

Re:Enternet 300? (1)

Radioheadhead (611950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012324)

Is the technology in a DSL modem really the same as the Discrete Multitone (DMT) in a 56K? Since it a) doesn't make a phone call, and b) sounds much different from my old dialup, I always assumed two different technolgies.

No matter--the transceivers for cable internet connections are called "modems," too. I think the two are called "modems" for the same reason WinXP PPPoE connections are called "dialers"--they are easy approximations.

Re:Enternet 300? (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011993)

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. [efficient.com]

Re:Enternet 300? (1)

salahx (100975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013885)

Actually, Enternet 300 came from Network Telesystems (NTS), which was then bought by Efficient Networks, which was then bought by Siemens.

'bout time... (5, Insightful)

Mister White (892068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011761)

Now, let's go ahead and shut down GAIN and all these 'websearch' places, and we'll be doing something. I see the auto-installing IE websearch bars and the "internet optimizer" wares to be some of the most vicious of all spyware. It's beyond intrusive, and downright annoying. Who wants to continually "uninstall" all of these?

Re:'bout time... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011807)

I see the auto-installing IE websearch bars and the "internet optimizer" wares to be some of the most vicious of all spyware.

Hey now, let's be fair. One of those programs was kind enough to let me know my computer was broadcasting an IP address. I installed it and now my comp@##@SSN 709 232 129(*&^^uter is secure.

Re:'bout time... (5, Funny)

spooky_nerd (646914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012270)

Hey now, let's not be too hasty. Uninstalling these things is what keeps me busy at work. You might call them malware, but I prefer the term gainfully-employedware.

Re:'bout time... (1)

halibut007 (567888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012544)

No matter how much spyware you remove the computer there will always be an endless number of bugs in the users to keep you busy.

Re:'bout time... (1)

VENONA (902751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015893)

So don't use IE for casual surfing. Use it only for those sites that you absolutely must have for business or whatever, and which absolutely require it. Even *then* you may be at risk, due to attacks on third party ad servers, etc. Remember the Bofra exploits caused by system compromises of Falk AG's ad servers?

IE still has unpatched exploits against it. I almost always does. This is the normal state of affairs.

Duh.

180solutions not mentioned (4, Insightful)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011770)

There is work left to be done!

Re:180solutions not mentioned (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012166)

It's probably going to be called $sys$180solutions soon, thanks to Sony.

Then again, it's not surprising that $ dollar signs makes things invisible. Works for hidden shares in Windows, and bribes to Congressmen.

Re:180solutions not mentioned (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016369)

The hidden windows shares are still advertised by the server, but the windows client ignores them. Try looking at the shares with samba or looking at the network traffic with a sniffer and you'll see the real share list. Gee, does that qualify as a rookit if they're really there but windows is instructed to no show it?

Funny thing is that Windows already hides certain file names anyway. Sony or a virus writer could have simply used one of those.

Re:180solutions not mentioned (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014063)

Don't forget to add Aurora, Claria, ISearch, and WhenU to this list. These are companies whose "product" I remove daily. As a tech in a white box store I now spend over 80% of my time removing this crap. It would be nice to go back to fixing hardware problems and building new boxes.

Does this mean ... (4, Insightful)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011865)

I won't have to constantly warn the users I support *not* to click on any pop up that says "Your system is unsecure! Click here to secure your system!"

Re:Does this mean ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011908)

Thanks for securing my system!
Luckely I soon enough clicked "click here", even though it wasn't flashing this time.

News is music to the ears of the Sony CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011887)

This will be the song, leading the Sony hitlist for record time.

Three Companies Shutdown For Spyware Bundling (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14011912)

So is it Mr Furley or the Ropers thats responsible for this?

Re: Three Companies Shutdown For Spyware Bundling (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012417)

Neither. Larry said something, and Janet misunderstood, and criminal charges wound up being filed...

$sys$Sony (2, Interesting)

kyshtock (608605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011921)

Well, I doubt that they will shut down Sony... but some nice fines might be in order. And some regulations on the EULAs. And maybe, just maybe, some modifications on the DMCA.

I wonder what happened... suddenly they started to care about malware...

Re:$sys$Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013651)

"but some nice fines might be in order"

The problem is that those "fines" are currently more often than not calculated into the cost of doing business ..

In other words : Although a company gets "found out", and it's current practice-of-business "fined", they consider that "fine" as a payment so they can legally continue whatever they where doing ...

The "fine" does *not* solve anything, but instead is just a slap-in-the-face of anone inconvinienced by the, by law illegal, practices : it does *NOT* stop the (offensive/illegal/criminal) behaviour, but instead just adds to the price of the product ..... :-( :-(

Yeah, I just *love* that capitalistic behaviour, where the victims are just a pretense to extract fines (that do not in *any* way benifit the victims) from the violators ... :-/

They started caring when... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14013979)

They realized that due to their sorely lax security concerning MUSIC CDs, anyone on a windows machine (like the gov't is going to use terminals? Please, we're talking about BIG WAR SPENDING here) within the Gov't can insert a "DRM-disabled" CD from Sony and compromise national security. That's why they slapped Sony's ass like a cheap $20 whore.

IMHO They missed one (1)

ScrewTivo (458228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011924)

Microsoft! My firewall always lights up every time I launch their products. That is ok, I can block that. But can the OS provider do the same thing SONY has been doing? Personally I don't know.

Help the sig the count will be updated weekly.

Re:IMHO They missed one (1)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012405)

I don't know about that. I've used quite a few firewalls on Windows XP and none of them have even asked whether I wanted to let Windows Update through.

Ok, that was an f-up (2, Funny)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012494)

I withdraw the previous comment totally and irrevocably while beating myself around the head exclaiming stupid, stupid, stupid!

A barefootgenius is != to genius.

Proprietry vs FOSS/OSS (0, Troll)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14011986)

You know, the more this goes on, the more closed source software will be treated with the distain it deserves.

Open source code 'many eyes' seems to easy now.

Re:Proprietry vs FOSS/OSS (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014372)

Wow, major flaw in your logic here. You seem to assume that because spyware is bad, and spyware is closed-source, closed-source software is bad. It doesn't work that way.

There _is_ hope! (0, Offtopic)

buzzazz (689642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012145)

So there _is_ good that the Gov't does.. *flip* and all this time... I wonder what it would take for them to force Big Boys (okay, Microshoft, WalMart, Quixtar) to start using bio-sensitive packaging and other such simple/obvious/MUST DO things..

Spyware (1, Redundant)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012178)

It's about time some of these companies are shut down. There is no real value in spyware!

Re:Spyware (2, Insightful)

TwoTailedFox (894904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012455)

Unless you count the money gained by Ad revenue. Or people actually handing $$$ over for Viagra, from a spam email.

They will just reincorporate,perhaps international (2, Insightful)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012554)

Sadly, these guys will just probably just re-incorporate and continue this nasty business. Reincorporation is simple and can be done quickly. They may even do it internationally to make legal efforts against them costly and time consuming. By the time they are shut down again, they will have run with the money. Sad but quite likely.

Sony...... (1)

Rank_Tyro (721935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012615)

When will Sony be held reponsible for installing rootkits on private coputers?
And will Sony risk being shutdown like Enternet media Inc. or the others?

  I predict Sony's status as one of the larger corporations around will allow them to buy themselves out of trouble.

Was this the use of "Corporate Death Penalty"? (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14012670)

And if so, why the hell isn't the Corporate Death Penalty being applied against some of the nation's biggest offenders? There are any number of corporations that have caused hellish environmental destruction, have screwed bajillions of dollars out of consumers, have outright lied about their products, have been caught red-handed cheating the government out of billions, etcetera. As far as I know, most of those companies are allowed to continue to exist... yet surely they are more harmful to society than the spammers.

Campaign Contributions, Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013274)

More honestly known as BRIBES. Make enough of them and you can get away with mass murder. Google on "Haliburton" for an example.

Re:Campaign Contributions, Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013641)

I'm afraid googling on "Haliburton" won't get you much... Try "Halliburton" instead.

Re:Was this the use of "Corporate Death Penalty"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14013319)

Eliminate a major company and you screw the economy. They wouldn't do that.

The case against malicious programmers? (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14014098)

No doubt the majority of /.ers would like to see the CEOs of these companies fined and jailed, but the responsibilty in other matters such as accounting fraud can go down the ladder.

This is not a troll, at least not intentionally, but at what point does malicious programming become a civil or criminial offense for those who know most intimately what the software does and the issues it involves? Intention is a significant part of legal matters, and while I am entirely against "programming malpractice" laws, putting this into "programming malware" could put a dent into the industry. Just the stigma alone of criminality would cut the numbers of programmers doing it.

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