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Anti-Spyware Coalition to Tackle Spyware

December 12th, 2005

The Anti-Spyware Coalition, an alliance of technology companies and public interest groups, today took a major step toward giving users more power to control the unwanted spyware clogging their computers. The group has already published spyware definitions along with prevention tips for consumers.

For the first time, the group, which consists of the largest software developers and technology companies, has drafted a definition of spyware, which suppose to help both individuals and the enterprise understand why some programs may be identified as unwanted.

The spyware problem has already been recognized as global issues with 85 percent of frequent Internet user believe that they have had spyware on their computer. Although companies developed numerous effective tools for combating spyware, the overall effort to address the problem has been hampered by a lack of agreement and clarity over how to distinguish good programs from those that raise concerns.

“One of the biggest challenges we´ve had with spyware has been agreeing on what it is,” said Ari Schwartz, Associate Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, which has led the work of the group. “The anti-spyware community needs a way to quickly and decisively categorize the new programs spawning at exponential rates across the Internet. The definitions will serve as a foundation for all future efforts to help users make more informed decisions about which programs to keep and which to delete. ”

The “glossary” definition of spyware along with a list of tips intended to help computer users both avoid downloading unwanted programs and defend themselves against malicious spyware already on their computers.

“The definitions alone represent a huge leap in how we communicate with our customers and each other about the spyware problem,” Schwartz said.

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