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WHAT'S NEW AT PC PITSTOP, MAY 2004
Your Source for Free Online PC Tests & Diagnostics
IN THIS ISSUE
Special Report: The FTC Spyware Workshop
On April 19th, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had a day-long workshop focusing on the growing spyware and adware problem. That's the good news. The bad news? Most of the people in the room seemed to be lawyers, and a good number of them worked for spyware and adware companies.
It's not just that spyware is widespread, but its effects are ruining computers. Jeffrey Friedberg of Microsoft says their Windows crash statistics indicate almost HALF of all crashes are due to spyware and adware. Maureen Cushman of Dell said that spyware-related problems are the number one reason that their customers call for technical support.
Some states are moving to fill the void left by slow action at the federal level. On the last panel of the day, Utah state representative Stephen Urquhart explained his recently passed bill to stop adware and spyware. Utah is being sued by adware maker WhenU, which claims that the law restricts their rights. Perhaps the best line uttered all day came from Urquart, who said, "We can't call these people consumers, they're victims."
PC Pitstop sponsored a pre-workshop get together of several user advocates in the spyware/adware removal field, and we discussed ways to cooperate to help more users and stop the spread of spyware.
It's not too late to tell the FTC what you think about the
spyware problem and what to do about it. You can still submit
your comments through May 21, use this link:
Inadequate Disclosure By Claria/Gator and WhenU
As part of our participation in the FTC Spyware Workshop, PC
Pitstop conducted some research on two large adware makers,
Claria (formerly Gator) and WhenU. Both of these companies
swear up and down that they clearly notify their users and
get permission to install. However, our survey of Claria and
WhenU users showed that more than three-quarters of them were
not even aware that the software was even installed on the PC!
How can that kind of "notification" be considered adequate?
See our new research here:
Continued Attacks Against Anti-Spyware Sites
Unknown spyware makers are continuing their attacks against sites that help users remove spyware and other PC threats. This month, Computer Cops (https://computercops.biz) was the victim of a multi-day denial-of-service (DoS) attack. Other sites such as spywareinfo.com have been hit as well. PC Pitstop's main site has not been affected, but our forums have experienced several periods of slow performance that may be due to these attacks.
Where's Your Newsletter?
Quite a few people didn't get their newsletters last month. It seems that various mail filters are deciding that The PC Pitstop newsletter is spam. Here is what you can do to help:
Solve Your PC Problems At The Pit
Need some help figuring out a tough computer problem? Can't
seem to shake some spyware or a virus? Stop by the PC Pitstop
Forums--we call it "The Pit". It's free and friendly!
About PC Pitstop
PC Pitstop, LLC (https://www.pcpitstop.com) was formed in February 2000, and offers users a unique way to make sure their PCs are running fast, stable and secure--all through a free, Web-based interface.
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