The Moral Composition of a Spyware Purveyor

DirectRevenue, possibly former adware/spyware purveyor, settled Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges of unfair and deceptive trade practices of installing unwanted and unsolicited spyware unto consumers’ computers. http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3660481 
 
FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz voted against the deal because he alleges that DirectRevenue was still keeping about 20 million dollars in ill-gotten gains.
 
What is interesting is the mind set of DirectRevenue. Back in April 2006 a company spokesperson was quoted on the DirectRevenue web site as saying:
 
"This lawsuit is a baseless attempt by the Office of the Attorney General to rewrite the rules of the adware business. It focuses exclusively on the company’s past practices – practices we and other industry leaders changed long ago – and says not a word about what we’re doing today," (http://www.direct-revenue.com/news23.php)
 
So, is this the model of a defense?

 
“Your honor, I stopped breaking into cars and houses people after those 20,000 incidents and the prosecutor is only focusing on what I did in the past, not what I do today. I am proud of 200 consecutive days without breaking and entering”
 
What a noble company this must be.
 
Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author ESET Research, ESET

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