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.

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…” (

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

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