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FTC Fines Zango $3 Million 77

An anonymous reader writes "Wired is reporting that government regulators have fined rogue adware distributor Zango (formerly 180Solutions) $3 million. This is 'following charges that the company deceived internet users into installing its pop-up software and tried to prevent them from uninstalling it.' ZDNet mentions that 'Zango's executives pointed a finger elsewhere, claiming that the federal violations were due to third-party distributors rather than the software manufacturer itself.' Security researchers are still happily finding examples of Zango software being popped open in rogue distributions such as IM worms. Ben Edelman is claiming to have more evidence of their dubious business practices, casting into question their claims of newfound affiliate responsibility."
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FTC Fines Zango $3 Million

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  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @03:05PM (#16717825)
    Consider the following in assessing their guilt:

    tried to prevent them from uninstalling it.

    If they were innocent they would make an easy and safe removal tool as widely available as possible. And this tool should block any further attempts to reinstall the software as part of the removal process. Also...

    'Zango's executives pointed a finger elsewhere, claiming that the federal violations were due to third-party distributors rather than the software manufacturer itself.

    Oh, isn't that clever. Point the finger. Not our fault. Get a clue stick folks. Nobody works to sneak software onto a user's system that they're not getting paid for doing. If Zango were to actually stop paying for any further installs by anyone this problem would quickly go away. In addition, the software certainly has to contact Zango servers for updates and ads to display. Have your servers refuse to accept connections from any previous versions of your software, rendering it effectively toothless before you give me your poor me tales of woe.

    Better yet, use your software to advertise the removal tool referenced above to all current users.

    And Dear FCC, go after the advertisers who have used Zango to flog their wares. A few hundred thousand in fines here, and a few hundred thousand there, and the message will get out while you're reducing the government deficit in the process.

    The plain truth is, there are some business models that DO NOT DESERVE to survive.

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @03:58PM (#16718277)
    The uninstaller should prevent another installation of the software? Just playing devil's advocate here, but that's a much higher standard you are setting them up against than just about any other software.

    For one thing, what if this was Firefox. Should the uninstaller set up up so that if you uninstall Firefox once, it should never be installed on the computer again?

    Then again, how should the uninstaller do that without leaving bits in the registry or a program directory? And wouldn't you want an uninstaller to clean out it's directory and leave the registry in a clean state?
  • George W should... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TavisJohn ( 961472 ) on Sunday November 05, 2006 @12:34AM (#16721997) Homepage
    Why not just have George W just make a law/royal decree that all adware and spyware makers are terrorists! Then he could just imprision them without any due process, and take all their property. This problem of spyware and adware could be cleared up (From the US side anyway) quickly!

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.