illegal installation?

  [DELETED] 12:18 05 Dec 2003

The new edition of PC Advisor popped through the door this morning and I was reading the helpline article about spybots. I installed SpyBot S&D, updated it with the update feature and ran a scan. I was shocked to learn how many spybots were on my system. When installing programs I have downloaded from the web I always read the EULA, I know its teadious but I always make sure there is nothing I feel strongly against. One programmer obviously doesnt take his clients seriously as the third last paragraph was in French and I had to use a translator to translate it. Nowhere in any EULA I have read did it mention installing any other software than the options I have selected, so doesnt that mean that the SpyBots are illegal?

  Stuartli 13:24 05 Dec 2003

You should also install AdAware6 (build 181), which is similar to S and D 1.2, and SpywareBlaster, which stops virtually all of them arriving in the first place..:-)

Quite often AdAware will find something that S and D misses and vice-versa.

  [DELETED] 13:26 05 Dec 2003

Thanks for the suggestion, is it illegal though?

  Terry Brown 14:00 05 Dec 2003

The purpose of spybots on your system, is to look at what sites you go to and target you.

It is no different to the advertising you see on T.V , Posters, Newspapers etc, with the exception that they have a better understanding of what you want.
Do you dump your advertising received through the snail mail ?-- No difference.

  [DELETED] 17:04 05 Dec 2003

No spyware is legal, and in some cases viruses are too.

  [DELETED] 17:05 05 Dec 2003

The police are not intrested in the creators of Bonzi Buddy or BDE projector, or even JS\NOCLOSE

  Forum Editor 08:47 06 Dec 2003

I know of no UK legislation that prohibits spyware - it's perfectly legal.

Whether or not the use of such information gathering technology is a desirable thing is another matter altogether, and many people involved in online privacy would like to see it (spyware) controlled. Unfortunately there's a tendency to lump spyware and adware together under the spyware lable, and many industry commentators think that adware (which may be considered a legitimate and harmless marketing tool) should be more clearly defined, so that it doesn't get tarred with the spyware brush. Some privacy campaigners say that anything that appears on our screens without our full knowledge and consent should be illegal, although many believe that to be a somewhat simplistic approach - many valuable free resource sites would simply go out of business if they couldn't display advertising to visitors in a targeted fashion. In September of this year a US judge ruled that ad serving software was not illegal, and that as computer users we must accustom ourselves to seeing pop-up ads appearing on our screens. Other US court judgments on internet matters have tended to set a precedent here in the UK.

Earlier, in July the Safe Guard Against Privacy Invasions Act was introduced in America by Congresswoman Mary Bono. The legislation requires companies that offer spyware to post an agreement clearly and conspicuously informing the computer user of the presence of spyware and its intended function. Companies would be required to post the mechanism for accepting such an agreement on the same page as the web agreement, and could not load such spyware without obtaining proper consent. It's a federal offence to install any form of monitoring or surveillance software on a computer which you don't own.

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