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Feds Asked to Take Action Against Adware Creator

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the paging-big-brother dept.

Privacy 240

An anonymous reader writes "CNet is reporting that a consumer watchdog group has asked the Federal Trade Commission to take action against 180solutions and CJB.net for unfair and deceptive business practices. The Center for Democracy and Technology submitted over 150 pages of examples of 180s bad practices." From the article: "180Solutions deliberately and repeatedly duped Internet users into downloading intrusive advertising software, according to a Center for Democracy and Technology complaint (download PDF). The company continued these practices even after it pledged to better itself and after receiving warnings from spyware experts and privacy advocates, the group said."

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FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543832)

I AM A FISH!

and it won't matter... (5, Insightful)

flakier (177415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543838)

...because they will say something like it was their "partners" that engaged in the deceptive practices. Then they will say that they will watch their partners more closely in the future.

Re:and it won't matter... (3, Insightful)

StupidHelpDeskGuy (636955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543859)

Yes, because the folks in Washington never change their mind. Especially if their chances for relection are hindered. It will matter eventually, we just have to keep fighting.

Re:and it won't matter... (3, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543903)

it won't matter because their is no public outcry yet at this point. Most non-Slashdot computer users seem to look at it as part of life. Nor are any of the corporate interests flexing their muscles to get the government hopping.

Re:and it won't matter... (2, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544389)

There's no public outcry because 90% of users don't know what's actually happening. "Oh, I hate these darn ads!" they'll say, but they don't know why they are there or that they can easily get rid of them. I am constantly amazed by the level of computer knowledge people demonstrate, despite the fact they are parked in front of one 8-10 hours per day. In fact, a good PhD Engineering friend of mine IMs me and asks if the web server is down, he wanted to look up someone's address on the site directory. I told him yes it was down and gave him the email address. He then asks: "Well, if the website is down, can I still email them?"

People are learning, I'll admit, but even "saavy" users don't really know much about spyware, adware, viruses, hijacking, firewalls, etc. Have they heard of them? Maybe. But they don't really know how to deal with them or even what to look for.

Re:and it won't matter... (1)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544472)

Spy/adware costs buisnesses money. This is a fact.

However, spyware also generates revenue for companies invested in providing spyware solutions. Make a list of companies that either directly benefit from spyware by selling anti-spyware software (be sure to include companies that distribute various forms of partial or pure malware disguised as anti-spyware), then add to that list all the companies that benefit indirectly by adding "value" to their software in the form of anti-spyware/security features.

Get the picture?

Only one? (2, Insightful)

catahoula10 (944094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543847)

What about the rest of them.

Re:Only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544191)

Yes, what about Google?

(Prediction: in t 2 min modded Troll by Google-employed astroturfs)

And not always duped... (3, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543848)

The one and only time I've ever had a PC of mine hijacked was because of 180solutions under IE7 and XPSP2 a few months back... I browsed to a site related to them and a moment later I had several new icons next to my clock and plenty of pop up ads saying hello.

Never before and never since had I ever had this happen... and it did make me a believer that a system could be hijacked without the user doing anything more than navigating to an HTTP url.

Re:And not always duped... (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543916)

Under IE7? The browser's not even out yet, and already there's exploits in the wild?

Re:And not always duped... (5, Funny)

eikonos (779343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543930)

That's Microsoft innovation in action! ;)

Re:And not always duped... (1)

Zakir (849137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544718)

Didn't you see the service patch that came out for Vista a few days ago? Well, that was for IE7!

Re:And not always duped... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543925)

And I bet you still run as admin ? lol

Re:And not always duped... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544101)

He has to run as admin otherwise Windows won't work. lol

Re:And not always duped... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543937)

it did make me a believer that a system could be hijacked without the user doing anything more than navigating to an HTTP url

That depends heavily on what program you are using to browse to the respective HTTP url. Your problem was not that you are simply "browsing to a url", the specific problem is that you are "using IE to open a url". IE leaves itself wide open to attack for a variety of reasons, I've been browsing almost exclusively with Opera for the last few years (a little Firefox as well), and I haven't had any issues at all (read: not even one). I don't run a virus scanner, my biannual spyware inspections only turn up various cookies, and I haven't had an infection in years. I also browse some pretty disreputable sites with impunity, the difference between me and the average user is that I take specific precautions with my browsing habits (i.e., I don't use IE, on any computer, except to test sites).

Re:And not always duped... (2, Informative)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544208)

I don't run a virus scanner

I'm sorry... but I will laugh if one day your pc is taken down by a virus... Why not run a free one like AVG? It'll make you feel all warm and cosy inside... if just for the fact that it comes up clean in its checks.

Re:And not always duped... (3, Informative)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544285)

and i'll laugh the day your AVG fails 22% of the time ... which is today [virus.gr]

and I don't run a realtime scanner either.

Re:And not always duped... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544655)

Oh no. 22%. Much better than not having any protection and much better than the failure rate of Symantec's scanners.

Re:And not always duped... (5, Insightful)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544711)

Its been a long time since i've used a virus scanner at home, and I'll tell you why:

1. They can only find known virii. Maybe being 'protected' from tens of thousands of viruses comforts you, but I'm worried about the few no one knows about yet, and AV software provides no protection against those.
2. They are only partially sucsessfull in removing virii. How many times have you seen "Delete Failed! click here for more info"? I've seen it a few times too many. I SHOULD NEVER EVER SEE THIS MESSAGE! This is a design failure.
3. AV software is not effective as a means of prevention. Virii come in two flavors-- trojans and worms. Trojan==idiot user clicked on BrittneySpearsNaked.jpg.exe; AV cannot prevent this. Worm==windows security issue; AV cannot prevent this. This is an over-simplification, and may not be 100% technically accurate, but you get the picture.
4. (sum of points 2 and 3) If AV software can't prevent infection, and if it sometimes can't even remove the infection, what good is it again? Its good for Symantec, its good for Macafee, and its good for IT professionals who get to say "its not my fault, I did everything i could to prevent it" next time a code red happens.

Re:And not always duped... (1, Funny)

PastAustin (941464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543958)

...plenty of pop up ads saying hello.



HOLY SHIT POPUP ADS ARE TALKING NOW?!

Well at least they were polite and didn't say, "BOO!"

Re:And not always duped... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544077)

wow d00d you're fucking hilarious!

oh, wait, no you're not

Re:And not always duped... (1)

PastAustin (941464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544478)

Show your face slime!

Re:And not always duped... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544685)

I prefer to hide my face slime.

Re:And not always duped... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544516)

Well, if you want talking popups, try this. [microsoft.com] Of course, you need Windows, IE, permissions to run ActiveX, scripts, make sure you have enough MS Agent installed, have the Peedy character available... *phew*!

Re:And not always duped... (1)

karmatic (776420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544624)

Actually, I got a talking popup ad earlier today - it used flash.

Re:And not always duped... (0)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544167)

Who did spy sheriff?

I got that once... It's a real bitch to remove... the 64bit machine took a week of hunting down files (MS Antispyware/Spybot/Adaware could detect it but couldn't remove it.. it's self repairing - if you miss a file it redownloads itself and reinfects), and it shafted the kernel of the 32bit machine somehow so it kept rebooting every 3-4 minutes... had to reinstall the OS.

Cost me about a $1000 of billable time overall... I should send them the bill.

Spyware authors should be taken out and shot (after they've paid the bill of course).

Re:And not always duped... (2, Informative)

springbox (853816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544488)

The one and only time I've ever had a PC of mine hijacked was because of 180solutions under IE7 and XPSP2 a few months back... I browsed to a site related to them and a moment later I had several new icons next to my clock and plenty of pop up ads saying hello.

The only reason this is a problem is because of the type of user that these companies are exploiting. You're running IE that doesn't appear to be locked down in any way on an account with administrator privileges. Basically any ActiveX app (most likely) not only has the flexibility to do basically whatever, but nothing is stopping it from tearing apart your system since it's also running with administrator privileges.

Don't feel too bad though, back in the days of Windows 98 I had some InstallShield app pop up through Internet Explorer and install some intrusive application without any warning.

Just because Microsoft gives your account admin access by default (WinXP) doesn't mean you can't do anything to protect yourself. You should take some time to lock down your system if you don't want another infection. No more admin level access to your every day account, etc. Unfourtnately, because your type of setup is so common unscrupulous companies will take advantage of it. (See also: SONY)

Stupid adware. (2, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543854)

That stuff is evil. I think we should just submit them to a public stoning or something like that. Not only would it be more fun - they might actually consider not doing it again!

Re:Stupid adware. (2, Funny)

StupidHelpDeskGuy (636955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543896)

Public stoning? Why would we want to smoke them up?

Re:Stupid adware. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Rockstar (624854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543897)

Yes, people tend to stop doing stuff after being stoned.

Re:Stupid adware. (4, Funny)

redheaded_stepchild (629363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543929)

Perhaps I'm the only one who sees this on a regular basis:
When I uninstall 180Solutions based stuff from a clients computer, I get a little questionairre that I am required to fill out. Questions are usually closely related to "Why did you remove this software?", "What services would have made you keep this software?" and "What could we do in the future to better serve you?" The first two are followed by drop-down choices (none of which are even close to my desired answers) and the last is a text field. Now, I don't know about you guys, but if they had honored my request for a Remote-controlled Sniper Rifle auto-aimed at their CEO's head, I might have considered keeping the software. Oh well.

Re:Stupid adware. (1)

qualico (731143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544132)

rofl.

yep, I would have opted in.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544133)

Mod parent up! He's got the right idea!

Sincerely,

An Anonymous Stoner

They had it coming (5, Insightful)

mikeswi (658619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543862)

For the last two years, 180Solutions has been issuing press releases claiming that they are going to clean up their affiliates. Then an affiliate is caught installing trojans and sneaking onto computers without consent. Then 180Solutions issues a press release .....

And round and round we go.

If they spent 1/10 as much time actually controlling their affiliates as they do writing up press releases, maybe something might have been done.

Re:They had it coming (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544158)

More like "if they spent 1/10 as much time looking for real jobs as as they do writing up press releases, maybe something might have been done." These are just another group of sociopaths out to profit off the Internet by any means possible. Not much you can do about people that don't even accept that they're doing anything wrong.

Re:They had it coming (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544580)

"It wasn't me, it was my eevil affiliate!"

Sure, like the soap operas haven't already overused that one.

pdf? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543870)

good editing ScuttleMonkey, here is the missing link for PDF [slashdot.org]

Advergaming The New Adware? (3, Interesting)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543886)

What about Advergaming [slashdot.org] ?

If you buy a software, install in your computer and it's showing you ads when you're using the software, it may even retrieve new ads from a remote location, are we supposed to put up with that?

Re:Advergaming The New Adware? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544079)

Marketing, like anything else, should be innovative. Unfortunately, many advertising agencies equate "forcing our advertisements onto users" with innovation. Advertising agencies don't care about public goodwill because for the most part it doesn't impact their business model - it can only impact the client's business model. There's a connection, but it is slow, indirect, and probably difficult for the client to see directly. Rather than seeing net results, advertisement agencies see things in terms of exposure.

Unobstrusive advertisements in a video game is actually a clever idea - an extension of unobtrusive product placements in movies. The problem is that people's tolerances change and after awhile, advertising methods stop being effective. Rather than coming up with the next innovative idea, advertisers change their tactics. Since people are ignoring the advertisements, the advertisements become more intrusive.

Re:Advergaming The New Adware? (1)

TheGSRGuy (901647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544355)

IIRC this was first seen in Need For Speed Underground. There were Cingular banners, Burger Kings, Old Spice billboards, etc.
 

Frankly, that doesn't bother me since it isn't in my face and doesn't hose the computer.

Re:Advergaming The New Adware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544424)

I would put up with in game ads if software prices were reduced.

Throw them in jail... (5, Interesting)

Number_5 (519448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543889)

and massively fine anyone who advtises with them. My mom has called me in tears because she could not use her computer due to popups etc. The only way to end this problem is to fine the advertisers.

Re:Throw them in jail... (3, Funny)

adyus (678739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543934)


...won't somebody PLEASE think of the mothers?

;)

Re:Throw them in jail... (1, Insightful)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544017)

It's easy to say this, but how do we judge what's illegal and what's not? For instance if you install certain file-sharing software, you get adware. I think that the developer has the right to do this as long as they disclose what they're doing. I'd like to see labeling on this instead of making it illegal. Make a clear label saying this software what some might consider intrusive advertising included. I can't see anyone installing with that kind of label. Then, if they don't put the label, I wholehartedly agree with fines, etc.

Re:Throw them in jail... (1)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544045)

What? You haven't installed Linux on your mother's PC yet you insensitive clod?!

Re:Throw them in jail... (2, Funny)

toadlife (301863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544634)

Some would say installing Linux on your mothers PC would make you an insensitive clod.

Re:Throw them in jail... (1)

TKBui (574476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544085)

I don't think jail is a place for these people. I do agree that being placed in jail is punishment, but I do not want to pay for another inmate. The better solution is to fine the parties responsible (the actual people, not the corporations), make the fines non-dischargeable via bankruptcy, and a hefty community service hours levy upon said persons. Chanting put them in jail is the wrong thing. Jail/Prison is for rapists, and those guilty of cold blooded murder (pre-meditated).

Re:Throw them in jail... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544328)

Jail/Prison is for rapists...

So? Putting adware vendors in prision just gives the rapists somebody to practice on. Seems reasonable to me!

Re:Throw them in jail... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544654)

*ahem* You mean kill the advertisers, right? They know damn well how much trouble and pain their ads put people through. Their morals are more or less a notch below that of a child molester. Jails are crowded enough, and as much as I'd love for these guys to have to bend over and take it, I think we need to do something that'll actually be effective.

A bit harsh, perhaps, but I think it would put an end to popups in a hurry. At least as long as they have similar laws overseas.

Hehe, cjb.net (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543900)

Anyone remember those back in the happy early days of circa HTML 3 Internet? :-)

I recall them once being a rather clean host, and among the first more well-known ones offering free subdomains.

Re:Hehe, cjb.net (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544115)

yeah wow, i had a cjb.net subdomain back in 1997 or 98 (defsoft.cjb.net), now they're a spyware company?? their site looks like they still provide the same dns/redirect services, i dont see any spyware hmm

Re:Hehe, cjb.net (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544239)

Yes. With all the frame issues and stuff, they were pretty bad as well. Not many adds, I concur, but not much commercial sites to browse either.

Re:Hehe, cjb.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544318)

I actually still use my cjb mail address. I've had it for the longest time and find it very useful to use it as a meta-address: by default [anything]@yourdomain.cjb.net goes to the same mailbox, so you use unique random e-mails on forms and whatnot, and if you start getting spam at one of them, you know which website sold your addy out AND you can just forward that one addy to a separate junkmail account or invalid address. I get no more than 2 spam mails a month.

Unfortunately, if this is how the company behaves I feel inclined to switch providers. It'll be a huge hassle though... I don't ever use my cjb web redirect and I rarely visit the main cjb site (and then, just with Linux) so I had no idea they were like this. :(

Re:Hehe, cjb.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544374)

Erm, not providers. POP3 hosts. You know what I mean.

Re:Hehe, cjb.net (1)

sloths (909607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544347)

Yeah I used to have a couple too. I made a page for my friend's baby pictures, and later one of the people she sent it to complained of spyware infecting her computer. Other than that it was a pretty nice service. I guess that explains it.

180 will always be right on the edge (5, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543901)

180Solutions is always right on the line. They used to play really dirty, until it was illegal.

Then they did the arms-length thing: blame the affiliates, but encourage them to break the law.

I don't see how their behavior is any different from companies that mislead people as to what they are buying or signing (e.g. I'll give you a check for a dollar -- but it is also a contract that switches your long distance service to may carrier).

Some people are stupid. Our laws assume that people are responsible and that if they sign a contract, that is them willingly singing a contract.

I suspect the problem is that some people are so stupid that they aren't really responsible, and that is especially the case when it comes to computers running spyware.

Re:180 will always be right on the edge (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543995)

Some people are stupid. Our laws assume that people are responsible and that if they sign a contract, that is them willingly singing a contract.

Not true. You can't sign away your rights. You can't for example sign yourself into slavery. Unfortunately.

Re:180 will always be right on the edge (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544099)

In that case, it is the contract that is illegal.

But you could have all the other elements -- consideration, for instance, and mutual benefit.

Whether or not someone will willingly agreeing to something is a different issue from whether or not the contract is of a legal or illegal nature.

Slavery is a good example -- at one point, someone could have sold themselves into slavery. And then suddenly that contract might be determined to be illegal, if slavery was banned.

Re:180 will always be right on the edge (2, Interesting)

nixdix (638151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544604)

The problem is that most people have been worn down by 200+ line "End User Licensing Agreements (EULAs). Most of it is legalese gibberish and often a substantial part of it is in a language the end user does not understand.

Microsoft is largely responsible for beating the public down in the computer arena until they just click OK or I Agree and be done with it. Microsoft is also responsible for establishing legal precedent that assenting to such an agreement is legal and binding regardless of whether you read it or are capable of understanding it.

But Microsoft is hardly the first entity to beat the public down until they sign a document without reading it. If you've ever used a parking garage, you have tacitly agreed to the contract written in microfiche on the reverse side of the ticket you are given as you enter the garage - this contract has also been tested in court and is legal and binding.

Re:180 will always be right on the edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544614)

I dont see how you condone or defend this kind of behavior of 180Sloutions. They deliberatly trick and mislead people that their product is safe and now "spyware free", but then they hijack you're system as soon as possible. I have half a mind to hijack you're P.C. just to prove a point...

No more spyware! (4, Insightful)

BHennessy (639799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543905)

This will stop spyware dead in its tracks, just like how when the "spam king" got sued all spam ended. ...

Re:No more spyware! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544404)

The "Spam King" is dead. Are you trying to imply something?

WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543911)

they should teach 180solutions that No means "I dont want any 180solutions crap on my hdd" and that yes means "i dont know how much evil this adware can do to my computer" or just "suicide".

aw. and that insisting isnt nice. i cliked once that i dont want anything already GODDAMMIT.

Should take action against these people... (-1, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543981)


Scams: Intelligent Design or Evolution?

The Liberty [libertydollar.org] , $5 in silver for $20, no real collector value. Some nuts got busted [buffalonews.com] over trying to pass them.

Re:Should take action against these people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544121)

I love the link.

What amuses me most is the concept of the 'money-back guarantee'.

'If you're not happy with your money - we'll give you some money instead'.

Priceless.

Re:Should take action against these people... (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544145)

Those specie currency lunatics sound like flat-earthers. They just can't get over the fact that "real life" is more complicated than their simple minds allow for.

Re:Should take action against these people... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544564)

Those specie currency lunatics sound like flat-earthers. They just can't get over the fact that "real life" is more complicated than their simple minds allow for.

This is a truism when applied to many many people.

Re:Should take action against these people... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544273)

The Liberty Dollar is as every bit a legal means of currency as the US Dollar. It's just not accepted everywhere. It's a private organization that has all of it's money backed up in hard silver ingots. I have ten of those certificates, ($200) and I could go in right now with those certificates and walk out with two-hundred dollars of silver ingots. In fact, I may have to buy some more, because the price of silver is going to jump up sometime sooner or later as the price of mining and refinery goes up.

Re:Should take action against these people... (2, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544461)

In fact, I may have to buy some more, because the price of silver is going to jump up sometime sooner or later as the price of mining and refinery goes up.

You're daft. You need to study economics. Simply put, if you buy 1 Oz .999 fine silver for $10 it will always be 1 Oz. If you put $10 into this guy's program, and it gets you the right to 1 Oz today, what do you think you get if the dollar drops (which is what this scheme is supposed to be proof against)? You get less silver because Mr NotHaus bases his value on (tada) the dollar. It's all geared to make him money at your expense.

Want to put money into silver? Go buy a bunch of worn Walking Liberty Halves or Silver Dollars. If the dollar spirals out of control your silver coins (no matter who made them) will have value, but you'll have got a heck of a lot more of them for your money.

You won't get me to accept those over-priced silver rounds except at the current exchange rate for silver.

Re:Should take action against these people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544680)


I could go in right now with those certificates and walk out with two-hundred dollars of silver ingots.


If I'm reading this scam correctly, you would (assuming it isn't outright theft) walk out with 10 oz of silver. Go to a silver market and find that you will only get about 90 of the dirty green notes for the silver you paid 200 of the dirty green notes for.

Good thing those dirty green notes are worthless, otherwise you might feel bad about your loss.

But - I hear you say - When silver takes off/ the dollar crashes, you'll be sitting pretty. Well, yes and no.

Again, assuming that the whole scam here is that they are fleecing you for the 11 dollars, not that they will cut and run when they have milked all they can, lets watch what happens when silver is $30/oz.

Well, then you have made $100 (green) Not as good as the $220 (green) you would have made if you had just bought silver instead of this scam, but hey- you are above water. Congratulations. Find a smelter, because the "currency" value of your silver will lose you money.

Right now, folks stupid enough to accept these coasters are doing it 1-1 with the green dollars. You have to assume that this will continue even if they achieve their face value. The local bar is not going to support a floating exchange for a few odd customers, and the "Mint" producing these gems will either close (making sure that only a few odd customers will ever have them) or "revalue" them at $100 (green) per $20 (silver) (again, making sure that only a few odd customers will ever have them)

If you want to invest in silver, do yourself a favor and buy it at market value. You'll get a lot more.

As a side note (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544324)

The government has no business telling us (IMHO) what we can or cannot use for payment. The Liberty Dollar is backed by real tangible assets. The US Dollar is backed by promises and debts of other countries, etc, and to me, I can't rely upon a promise like that, given the history of governments. I know of ten stores here in Memphis that will accept the certificates or coins (couple tattoo parlorss, couple shops on Beale, and other small places around town.) I've asked what they think of this currency, and they say it's far better than the government's minted and worthless paper.

My thought? The government has no idea what "barter and trade" is all about.

Re:Should take action against these people... (2, Insightful)

Elminst (53259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544572)

I love the final quote in that article;
"They're a pretty coin, and they're backed by silver. It's a commodity that's going up in value, unlike the U.S. dollar."

Oooo it's PURTY!!!
And going up in value? WTF? Silver is BARELY starting to recover from being at it's LOWEST value in nearly 600 YEARS (under $4 in 2002)!!
As of today, 1 oz of silver is worth $9.02. And these SCHMUCKS pay $20 for one coin. Yeah.. that's a really good investment there, buddy.

Re:Should take action against these people... (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544672)

As of today, 1 oz of silver is worth $9.02. And these SCHMUCKS pay $20 for one coin. Yeah.. that's a really good investment there, buddy.

Not only that, but his digital dollars are like Enron stock. If all hell breaks loose and we suffer a depression, where do you think you'll find Mr. NotHaus? With all those reserves in the Bahamas, I betcha. Yet, people still continue to believe they can get something for nothing.

A dose of their own medicine.. (5, Funny)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543997)

I think the feds should be granted warrants to enter the 180's employee's homes and build furniture in them. This furniture would be covered with fleas, ticks and head lice and be generally annoying to the person who lived there and there family. They would also be painted in ugly colors and make noises anytime someone entered the home or used another piece of furniture. Additionally, the furniture and appliances would be built in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible to remove from the homes without causing damage.

Maybe we could send them some Sony DRM cd's too.

Re:A dose of their own medicine.. (3, Funny)

jcgf (688310) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544086)

I think the feds should be granted warrants to enter the 180's employee's homes and build furniture in them.

That would kick ass. You could say things like "How do you like your new dining room table in the bathroom bitch?" or "ha ha a poorly designed cupboard in the living room, how do you like them apples mother fucker?".

180 does a 180 (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544047)

"The company (180Solutions) continued these practices even after it pledged to better itself and after receiving warnings from spyware experts and privacy advocates, the group said."

But, in typical relapse fashion, 180Solutions lived up to its name and did a full 180 on its pledge to better itself.
It says it now may check in to an undisclosed rehab center on the coast to help with its spyware addiction.

Ugh... even the ACLU has gone evil... (0, Offtopic)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544091)

I got an invite to the ACLU, who's currently running this campaign [aclu.org] is apparently buying mailing lists from the public radio station [wnyc.org] I support. Compiling lists of data from non-customers/members for abuse while blaming other people for the problem isn't exclusive to the spyware industry.

Your spyware stories? Here's mine (5, Insightful)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544100)

Ok... I don't really get spyware on my pcs... neither my wife or I go to porn sites (ok... in my youth I did... :/ ), I've made firefox the default browser on all my pcs, we have AVG free virus protection [grisoft.com] , Sygate Personal firewall... although, bugger... I just noticed they've discontinued that... will have to switch to ZoneAlarm [download.com] now I suppose... humph. And we run Ad-Aware [download.com]
  and SpyBot Search and Destroy [download.com] every now and again...

But just recently I've had to clean my father-in-law's pc, and a friends one too.

Now the father-in-law's one was pretty bad, popups would launch with IE, and there was a lot of CPU activity etc. that was not accounted for... nasty stuff... but a clean with Adaware, Spybot, using Add/Remove to kill anything that looked suspect, putting firefox on etc. and we have a clean computer.

The other computer though... my GOD! On startup it would immediately go to 100% CPU usage... and once you could finally get Task Manager up it was iexplore.exe that was doing the damage... a few minutes later when it'd actually respond to a kill process and the work of cleaning it could finally take place... well... hours later and using all tools I think it's clean now... but it required all of them to get it all... with HiJack This [download.com] being the final saviour to remove the last of the damage...

And what were the biggest damage makers? The damn programs that these people downloaded that claimed they were 'Spyware cleaners'... but really were spyware themselves.

EVIL

FUCKERS

they prey on people who already have pcs loaded up with spyware... and put more on.

Of course the second of the two pcs was infected so damn badly (Spybot found over 3 thousand items) due to porn surfing... almost always the cause of these things.

I don't know how the makers of these programs live with themselves... there's nothing redeeming about what they do... AT ALL.

Re:Your spyware stories? Here's mine (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544390)

Here's another one you need: Spyware Blaster. [javacoolsoftware.com] It's so good that if Spybot Search and Distroy detects it, it tells you that some of Spyware Blaster's protections are better than its own.

Re:Your spyware stories? Here's mine (1)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544425)

Looks good, shall have to try that one! :)

Re:Your spyware stories? Here's mine (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544590)

Nice. I noticed that Symantec acquired Sygate and are (surprise!) not giving away their excellent firewall anymore. Sygate Personal Firewall is IMO the best free Windows firewall available. Don't use Zone Alarm. It's extremely icky. Download SPF from here [oldversion.com] . It should last you for a while.

Re:Your spyware stories? Here's mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544599)

I completely understand what you went through. The win machine I am now now, I installed a fresh copy of XPSp2 Pro. The machine was ethernet connected to a Mac and the Mac and the PC were both behind a router firewall.

10 minutes. The machine was so hammered by spyware, adware, viruses etc that XP changed my desktop to tell me that I have a spyware infection. Fair enough I thought, so I downloaded the tools (Spybot, Ad-aware etc) to clean it up. Away went the spyware. Subsequent checks revealed I had gotten rid of all the malware. But for some reason Windows wouldn't let me change my desktop back (I didn't have a problem anymore...)

So we format. We try again. 4 attempts later, after finding a copy of Symantec Norton IS on my video card driver CD, installed, turned the firewall and AV on, downloaded Spybot, Ad-aware etc and their definitions and Norton AV definitions on the Mac, burnt, applied, did I dare connect the ethernet cable again.

Frustrating to say the least.

Re:Your spyware stories? Here's mine (0, Troll)

Nimey (114278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544726)

You look like a pretentious wanker when you end your sentences with "..." all the time.

Re:Your spyware stories? Here's mine (3, Interesting)

rjhoffmann (922675) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544794)

Preface: I work for a Small-ish computer company in Wisconsin. Adware/Spyware/Malware (etc.. The list goes on.) Has become more of an epidemic than anything. We get roughly 20 pc's in a week to repair. Some are your run of the mill hardware failure, but most (90%) are coming in with the customer complaining that the system is just "running slow" Needless to say, I've seen everything. 180 to vx2 variants, rootkits, and rouge removal products. PC's so loaded down that the only means of repairing is an FnR. What's worse is the adware is bringing up links that claim "Your machine is infected with spyware, click here to remove". So the customer pays money to download a dodgy program that does nothing but infect their machine further. The worst part is that these programs take so long to remove that hourly labor goes thru the roof, (thus making it more cost effective to Format and Reload) In all, I know I'm just kicking the dead horse here, I'd honestly like to see companies like 180 get the feds to actually do something about it.. Probability, nil.. but its worth hope.

A modest proposal (3, Interesting)

TomGrantAtXythos (898055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544192)

[Note: For the thuddingly literal out there, I am not actually advocating that anyone do this.]

Go into the homes of the 180solutions executives. Rewire all their consumer electronics, from their refrigerators to their Tivo boxes. Make it very difficult to figure out what has been changed, or how to change it back. Leave a note behind saying, "We saw how you were using your home electronics and thought we could help!"

Seriously, I see no difference between this scenario and what adware/spyware companies do with your PC. Even the EULA on adware-loaded software doesn't make it clear what's going to happen once this stuff gets unleashed on your hard drive.

RIAA (4, Insightful)

qualico (731143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544200)

Sure wish we could pit RIAA against 180.

Why is it that we can have organizations like the RIAA to protect industry interests, yet there is no one to protect the interests of consumers?

Re:RIAA (2, Insightful)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544367)

We do have one. Or actually, fifty or so. Each state (and probably D.C.) has an Attorney General with powers to sue to stop public scams or nuisances. Usually there is a consumer protection division. People have to start bugging their A.G. It takes a lot of complaints about any particular abuse to get things moving, so go ahead.. and spread the word. CC your letter to your state and federal congresspersons. Larger volume of mail equals better chance you'll be heard.

Re:RIAA (1)

qualico (731143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544741)

Good idea.
What links exist to contact these representatives?

More to the point, it would be nice if these representatives were as aggresive as the RIAA.

Maybe they'll clue in when 180 infects their computers.

Easy enough solution I use... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544217)

My solution to spyware:

Use Linux for anything I don't specifically know will do no damage. ie: most anything online is done through Linux. For any video games or webpages I specifically know to be safe, XP is fine.

I for one, welcome our new anti-spam movement. (0, Offtopic)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544272)

"Oh, smashing, groovy, yay capitalism!" -- Austin Powers

My guess for their next move (1)

dthree (458263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544284)

180 could do like Claria/Gator and sue everyone calling it spyware/adware. Then make back-door deals with the anti-spyware software developers to take them off the threat list. Sue, those who don't comply. Case dismissed!

They're not the only evil ones... (5, Interesting)

js9kv (690351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544296)

180solutions are scumbags, true.

What about 2o7.net? These bottom-feeders have been using a domain name that looks like an IP address for ages - and there's no legitimate reason for it, other than to confuse those who can't tell zero's from O's in their firewall reports. Even their hosts appear with stuff like 192.168.1.2o7.net.

Most folks out there would miss that in a firewall report if they didn't read it closely and wonder why an IP address appeared in the resolved names column.

What ever happened to the Internet Death Penalty? Boy, do we need it now!

Re:They're not the only evil ones... (1)

marvinglenn (195135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544721)

What about 2o7.net?

Firefox/Mozilla plus Adblock; add the filter "*.2o7.net/*"

While you're at it, ad:
*.doubleclick,net/*
*.advertising.com/*
*.atdmt.com/*

There're plenty more you can add too, but I always use the above as a good start on the machines I set up. The next step is having a firewall with iptables, and then blackholing networks that host the worst of the spyware pushers.

Why Wait? (0)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544388)

Instead of waiting for the FCC, why don't you do something yourself. Help in the fight against spyware by visiting the 180solutions website <url>http://www.180solutions.com</url> and pressing f5 a couple times.
<br>
I don't care if I go to prison for saying this. <url>http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/ 06/2140227</url> It needs to be said.

you should be put in prison (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544617)

For your awful tags.
?? Are you serious? Man, it wouldn't even work in UBB where it would have to be [url].
Oy vay. That's the problem with geek chic. Too little geek, too much chic.

Hmm (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544395)


Where are these tactical nukes when you need them? I'm sure they'd stop after their head offices get turned into a pile of molten slag..

Re:Hmm (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544717)

Are you sure? [userfriendly.org]

Why the digital wack a mole? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544477)

Why are they just going after the end product?

How about a nice clear statement -
A list of other OS options and apps - If you are having problems try them.
Get a generation of users far away from the underlying problem.

Scream out:
Its the OS stupid.

Who would respond to an ad delivered this way? (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544605)

And who would pay to have an ad placed this way?

Advertising works. (Ask the folks at Absolute). Do you really mind a properly sized static ad? I don't. And sometimes they are of interest. I used Opera with ads when it worked that way...and Eudora. With Opera you could even say what kind of ads you wanted. Fair enough. And Google has really cashed in on getting low-key ads into context.

But sleazoid schemes like this defy all logic. Ads don't work when they are coming at people as an assault. They are killing broadcast radio's appeal as well. Morons!

As I said, what astounds me are the vendors who want to promote this way. Hmmmm. Maybe it works sort of by accident. As desperate people try to kill the popoups they sometimes activate the link by mistake. I guess sometimes they like what they see...

Anyway, I hope the Feds mop the floor with these buttmunchers.

It looks like their luck... (2, Funny)

Blazeix (924805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544632)

...is about to turn 180 degrees.
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