Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another anti-spyware initiative

Several academic institutions and major tech companies have teamed up to thwart "badware," a phrase they have coined that encompasses spyware and adware. Harvard University's Berkman Centre and the Oxford Internet Institute are leading the initiative and have received backing from Google, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems. The new website,, is promoted as a "Neighborhood Watch" campaign and seeks to "provide reliable, objective information about downloadable applications in order to help consumers to make better choices about what they download on to their computers." The group differs from the large Anti-Spyware Coalition which is backed by Microsoft, Symantec, Yahoo, Computer Associates, AOL, and many others, by attempting to be a more grassroots initiative. StopBadware seeks the involvement of the community by asking for submissions of stories and technical reports.
Honestly speaking I have my doubts about this project. There are already numerous initiatives and the only one which makes sense to me is the anti-spyware coalition. They are even using a new name which is ridiculous ... badware is malware, a name which is already defined ... less or more... if you see what I mean. I don't believe in a Neighborhood Watch if your gatekeepers are babies, but you'll never know.