Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
From InfoAve Premium Issue #76 - April 1, 2005
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Educating Corporate America
With all the lawsuits and cease
and desist orders being aimed by spyware and adware developers at the anti-spyware
community, something needs to be done, but too many anti-spyware critics are under funded
to carry on a protracted legal battle.
But, we've come up with an idea
that will hit the spyware/adware people right where it counts - the wallet. However, we
cannot do it alone. We really need all of you to read this Rant (it's not that long) and
help us; the two of us cannot change anything, but the thousands of you can.
Today, with your help, we are
going to educate Dell Computer Corporation. We have used Dell desktops for the last 7
years. We've purchased many computers from Dell, including computers for our children, but
we will never purchase another Dell as long as their advertising dollars are funneled to
spyware and adware companies whose products clog millions of computers, some of them
On Dell's Web site (in several
locations including this
one) they warn you about installing spyware. In fact, Dell says that a great
percentage of its tech calls are spyware related. It would appear on the surface that Dell
is committed to protecting your computer from spyware. But, Dell's public and private
personas, however, seem to be vastly different.
It appears from information on Ben Edelman's site that Dell
has jumped in bed with eXact Advertising, a particularly aggressive firm that specializes,
apparently in invisible installs and forced installs. eXact's products sometimes come
bundled with seeming benign applications. It sounds very much like spyware and adware to
According to Edelman: "I've repeatedly seen software from eXact Advertising
installed through security holes, in poorly-disclosed bundles, or otherwise without
meaningful (or any) notice and consent. What kind of advertisers would support a company
that gets on users' PCs in these ways? I was surprised to find scores of well-known firms
promoted by eXact -- including Apple, Chase, Circuit City, Dell, Expedia, Netflix, and
Vonage. Cross-referencing eXact's partner list with TRUSTe's member list, I found 85
matches.. ..." . To see Edelman's Documentation click here. To get an idea
what kind of company eXact is, read this page
carefully. Also, see the movie Ben made of the vicious way eXact Advertising
installs itself on a person's computer. Finally, if you are
It's absolutely incredible.
In fairness to Dell, anyone can sign up to
earn a commission from Dell as an affiliate. However, Dell has a responsibility to know
who its affiliates are. I'm sure Dell wouldn't want its products sold by spam houses. But,
it's hard to say the way eXact promotes Dell isn't worse than spam. At least you can
delete the spam. And, we're not sure if eXact is an affiliate of Dells' or if Dell
directly pays eXact to show their advertisements. Either way, it really doesn't matter;
Dell has a reponsibilty to keep its advertising our of these types of spyware and/or
adware programs. Don't you agree?
This week we would like you to email
Dell and tell them exactly what you think about Dell money being used to support
companies like eXact advertising. Maybe, we can stop spyware by throttling its
money-stream. If enough people care, we can. Please take a few minutes to let Dell know
what you think of their products appearing in unwanted popup ads generated by hidden
spyware and adware programs. Please send your friends to this page and ask them to join
us.. We might not have the power of money but we do have the power of the people.
And if this idea is a success, we'll
educate another big corporation in the future. Today,, let's educate Dell: Please
tell them what you think by clicking here. The referring URL is http://thundercloud.net/infoave/education-rant.htm
and the topic is "Privacy - Info Request".
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herein are the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily
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Rants are editorials and are, therefore, opinions. All content is copyright ©2005 by Cloudeight Internet LLC (all