Spyware Suits Come Up Empty-Handed

Dennis Faas's picture

Most of us in the tech "biz" are familiar with Zango. It's not a loving relationship. One of the most prolific spyware vendors, Zango recently failed to crawl out from underneath federal law that allows security companies to target its software.

Since a name change from 180solutions to Zango, the adware company has been suing just about anyone in the security market. Proceedings have not gone well. A federal judge recently told Zango that companies like PC Tools and Web Sweeper can identify and target any program they like, including software from 180solutions (or whatever its name may be).

That decision comes only days after Zango dropped a lawsuit against popular Australian software vendor PC Tools. The makers of Spyware Doctor were on the receiving end of Zango's ire on grounds of libel, but were ultimately vindicated. Despite dropping the case, Zango has tried hard to portray the result as some form of victory. We're not sure why, or how. (Source: theregister.co.uk)

This most recent decision ended similarly for Zango. Although it aggressively pursued Kapersky Lab and its applications for trade libel (Kapersky's programs blocked the installation of Zango software), no one bought into Zango's argument. In fact, the judge ruled based on a provision in the Communications Decency Act, which protects security vendors for "any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, and harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected." (Source: arstechnica.com)

The ultimate meaning is this: if a consumer buys security software, and that software determines Zango or any other product to pose a threat, the program can and will block the identified product. It means we're putting more trust than ever in our anti-virus and/or anti-spyware software.

It also means the future is just a little dimmer for Zango and companies like it.

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