The Checkout

Spyware Installer Zango Up to Old Tricks

Earlier this month, pop-ad installer Zango agreed to pay $3 million in what many describe as a landmark settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it installed software on people's computers without their permission.

According to the FTC, consumers have unwittingly downloaded Zango's software more than 70 million times, and as a result, have been subjected to more than 6.9 billion pop-up ads between 2002 and 2005. When consumers tried to rid themselves of the pop-ups, Zango deliberately made it difficult to identify, locate, and remove the adware.

According to the FTC, Zango is supposed to be complying with the settlement now, which is what Zango claimed it was doing in a Nov. 3, 2006, press release. The Bellevue, Wash., company said it "has met or exceeded the key notice and consent standards detailed in the FTC consent order since at least January 1, 2006."

However, several spyware watchdogs, such as Ben Edelman, Eric Howes and the Center for Democracy & Technology, say Zango's claims are not true.

Under the FTC agreement, Zango, a.k.a. 180solutions promised to:

* Cease communications with the computers of consumers who had unknowingly downloaded Zango software before Jan. 1, 2006, either by monitoring the user's Web surfing activities or delivering pop-up ads;

* Stop installing its adware without consumers' consent and instead offer clear and prominent disclosures;

* Be responsible for the actions of third-party distributors, which the company had blamed in the past for many of its bad practices.

According to Edelman and Howes, though, Zango has done a poor job of disclosure, such as failing to prominently tell consumers that if they download Zango software they will be subjected to pop-up ads and that their every key stroke will be communicated back to Zango.

The disclosures Zango does present appear only after the installation and execution of Zango's software, contrary to the terms of the proposed settlement, Edelman and Howes say.

In some cases, Zango software is still installed without any disclosure whatsoever.

The FTC is aware of the allegations and has no comment, said spokeswoman Claudia B. Farrell.

Keeing tabs on Zango is time consuming. Edelman and Howes said it took them 10 hours to come up with about eight types of violations. But they urge the FTC to stay on top of Zango and to force it to disgorge more ill-gotten profits than a mere $3 million, especially since Zango claims to have 20 million "users."

What's on the line if the FTC can't get Zango to comply? Well, not only this particular settlement but potentially all future actions against spyware installers, says CD&T's Alissa Cooper.

By Annys Shin |  November 21, 2006; 7:00 AM ET Consumer News
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Comments

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WHAT ABOUT CITIBANK ETHICS AND THE LIES THEY TELL

ALL I WAS TRYING TO DO WAS PUT MY DAUGHTER FIRST
HOW DID CITIGROUP MAKE THE LIST OF THE 100 BEST COMPANIES FOR WORKING MOTHERS TO WORK AT??????
MOTHER FIRED VIA UPS 13 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND STILL CITIBANK LIES TO CLIENTS ABOUT WHAT THEY DID
IF YOU RECEIVE THIS A SECOND TIME I AM SORRY
ALSO FEEL FREE TO POST AND FORWARD OUR STORY TO ANYONE YOU THINK COULD HELP US, THANKS

Corporate America needs to be kinder to their employees. The Citibank manager did not follow policy and guidelines for terminating an employee and also violated Ca. Labor codes., I feel that Jeff Ursino fired me because he just did not like me.He harassed me and made up rules as he went along, he over looked other employees actions and was on a war path to get me out of there.What kind of man fires you while you are at home ill and calls to see if you are coming into work although he had my doctors note in hand? A very weak man. Jeff Ursino even used another employees name on the UPS envelope address label as if someone else was sending me this letter of termination, that is weak. If he was so sure about what he was doing why not put your own name on the envelope? If he had followed the guidelines I would feel better but he was just out to prove that he was the 'man' in charged. He was not equal and fair and I will not stop until I get justice, justice for me and all those wrongfully terminated for all the wrong reasons and who are afraid to go up against Corporate America.
Thank you for your time and suggestion, I have already contacted US labor dept, EEOC, DFEH, Office of Thrift Supervision, Office of Currency, just about every Senator, Ca. Governor and so much more. Someone has to stand up and I guess that someone is me.


ON SATURDAY I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM CITIGROUP THANKING ME FOR MY FIVE YEARS OF SERVICE YET THEY JUST EXPLAINED TO THE DFEH WHY THEY FIRED ME
PLEASE HELP US GET TO THE TRUTH
GETTTING THIS LETTER WAS VERY DISTURBING SINCE I FEEL I WAS WRONGFULLY TERMINATED
I HAD NO PLANS TO LEAVE CITIBANK IN CARMEL
THE LETTER EVEN STATES TO ANOTHER 5 YEARS BUT THEY FIRED ME!!!!!
A FEW DAYS LATER I RECEIVE ANOTHER LETTER CONFIRMING THAT I WAS FIRED!
HOW MESSED UP IS CITIGROUP??

Subject: IS IT LEGAL TO LIE TO THE DFEH & US DEPT OF LABOR? CITIGROUP DID & THEY LIE TO CLIENTS IN CARMEL PLEASE READ THIS LETTER SENT TO THE MONTEREY HERALD
The Monterey County Herald
Attn: Herald Executive Editor, Carolina Garcia
Monterey, CA 93940
cgarcia@montereyherald.com
(831) 646-4306
Ms. Garcia,
I have attempted through several sources to clarify my
position regarding my unfair treatment by my previous
employer, Citibank. I had no previous plans to leave
my position as Head Teller at the Citibank branch in
Carmel. After 4 years of employment with the company,
the unfair and unequal treatment of employees led to
medically supervised work-related stress. The manager
of the branch then accused me of job abandonment which
led to my termination via UPS delivery on December 15,
2005, while I was at home on medical leave.

Subsequent to my termination, I received numerous
correspondences that referenced me as terminated, no
longer with the company, and as a former employee. My
401K and pension have both been forwarded to me.
However, when interviewed by the Department of Fair
Employment and Housing, Citibank representatives
reported that I was terminated due to not personally
reporting my absence, but rather having medical
documentation reported by my physician. When
interviewed by the U. S. Department Wage and Hours
Division, Citibank representatives reported on August
8, 2006, that I was still an employee of the company
and that a letter indicating such would be forwarded
to me. To date, this letter has not been received.

I have continued to be in contact with several clients
that have stated that Citibank representatives
indicated that I was either on vacation, or that I
voluntarily resigned in order to work with my husband
in his new business. This is absolutely untrue. It was
my intention to continue my employment as the benefits
were extremely important to me, as well as to my
family.

Clearly, there has been a gross misrepresentation by
Citibank, either to its clients or to the U. S.
Department Wage and Hours Division. It is my position
that I was unfairly terminated by Citibank. The
unscrupulous behavior of Citibank and its
representatives, locally and at the corporate level,
is unacceptable.

It is also my opinion that if a corporation as large
as Citibank is representing itself on a local level,
the local management and staff should act accordingly.
A large part of the attraction of the Monterey area is
the sense of community that is felt here on a day to
day basis. If Citibank is allowed to misrepresent its
actions to clients and government agencies, where will
the corporate takeover end?
SINCERELY

Damari Stratford
dcsbears@aol.com
1291 ORD GROVE AVE, SEASIDE CA 93955
831-583-9077
Subject: Re: Your message to the governor was received
THE GOVERNOR HAS WRITTEN ME TWICE AND SAID HE WOULD
HELP,, CITIBANK HAS LIED TO THE DFEH AND US LABOR DEPT
WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION AND TO THEIR CLIENTS ABOUT MY
STATUS, I NEED HELP, HOW CAN I FIGHT WHEN THIS
CORPORATION IS TELLING LIES AND HAS ALL THE LAWYERS
THEY NEED AND I CAN'T AFFORD ONE. HOW MANY TIMES ARE
THEY GOING TO GET AWAY WITH MISTREATING EMPLOYEES
ON 8/8/06 RONAN FROM THE US DEPT OF LABOR WAS TOLD BY
A CITIBANK ATTORNEY THAT THEY WOULD SEND ME A LETTER
EXPLAINING MY STATUS AS STILL AN EMPLOYEE, I HAVE YET
TO GET THIS LETTER, HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PUT A
LETTER TOGETHER IF THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH?
YOUR OFFICE AS WELL AS THE FIRST LADY'S OFFICE HAS
CALLED ME BUT WE AREN'T GETTING ANYWHERE. IT HAS BEEN
7 MONTHS SINCE I FIRST WROTE THE GOVERNOR. CITIBANK
ATTORNEYS HAVE CANCELLED 2 DEPOSITIONS AT THE LAST
MINUTE THE LAST INE THEY CANCELLED WAS AFTER TALKING
TO THE US LABOR DEPARTMENT,WHY?
MY JOB WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO MY FAMILY AND I PLEASE
HELP ME AND MY FAMILY AND ALL THOSE BEFORE ME THAT
HAVE BEEN WRONGFULLY TERMINATED BY CITIBANK FOR NO
GOOD REASON
WHY IS EVERYONE SO AFRAID OF CITIGROUP? WHY CAN'T I
FIND AN ATTORNEY WILLING TO STAND UP TO THEM ON A
CONTINGENCY BASIS? I VOTED FOR THE GOVERNOR AND I NEED
HIM NOW
PLEASE CALL ANN FROM THE DFEH AT 408-277-1916 THEY
TOLD HER THAT I HAD CALLED IN ILL ON 11/15/05 AND THAT
I TOLD THEM I WOULDN'T BE IN, THIS IS A LIE I WORKED
THAT DAY AND I CAN PROVE THIS WITH MY IME CARD, THEN
THEY SAY THEY MADE AN ERROR
PLEASE CALL RONAN AT 415-744-5590 EXT 226 FROM THE US
LABOR DEPT TO VERIFY WHAT CITIBANK ATTORNEYS SAID. THE
ONLY REASON THEY OFFERED ME FMLA IS BECAUSE I FILED
FOR DISABILITY, BEFORE THAT THEY HAD PAID OUT MY FINAL
PAYCHECK, FIRED ME VIA UPS, SENT ME COBRA INFORMATION.
PLEASE HELP US PLEASE SEE THAT THE GOVERNOR GETS THIS
EMAIL AND ASK HIM TO MAKE A CALL ON MY BEHALF
CORPORATE AMERICA NEEDS TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEIR
GOOD EMPLOYEES AND NOT ALLOW A MANAGER WITH BAD SKILLS
TO FIRE SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE HE WANTS TO
SINCERELY DAMARI STARTFROD
MOTHER WIFE HUMAN BEING AND I VOTED FOR THE GOVERNOR
I MATTER TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CITIBANK IN CARMEL LIES TO CLIENTS ABOUT WHY I AM NOT
THERE. THEY TELL PEOPLE THAT I AM ON VACATION OR THAT
I LEFT TO WORK FOR MY HUSBAND INSTEAD OF TELLING THEM
HAT THEY FIRED ME AFTER MY DOCTOR FAXED IN A NOTE AND
CALLED IN FOR ME TO PROTECT ME FROM HAVING MY BLOOD
PRESSURE RISE. JEFF URSINO AND KATHLEEN MUNOZ LIES TO
ANN AT THE DFEH AND THEIR LAWYERS LIED TO THE US DEPT
OF LABOR. KATHLEN WAS DOING THE OVERDRAFT ON HER
DAUGHTERS ACCOUNTS AND REFUNDED HER OWN DAUHGTER MONEY
WHILE THE MANAGER WAS ON VACATION. SHE LIES ABOUT
BEING FIRED FROM WELLS FARGO, SHE LIED TO THE WORKERS
COMP PEOPLE AND WILL LIE TO ANYONE. KATHLEEN HAD
INSTUCTED THE OTHER TELLERS TO COOK THE BOOKS BY
HAVING THEM PUT IN FALSE REFEERALS AND JEFF URSINO DID
NOTHING ABOUT IT BUT I GOT WRITTEN UP FOR MISSING WORK
WITH A DOCTORS NOTE. THEY STATE TO ONE AGENCY THAT I
WAS FIRED AND TO THE OTHER THAT I AM STILL EMPLOYED,
THEY STATE I WAS FIRED FOR NOT CALLING IN YET I WAS
RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO HAVE MY DOCTOEOR CALL IN AND FAX
MY NOTE IN DUE TO THE STRESS AND HARRASSMENT BROUGHT
ON BY JEFF AND CITIBANK, WHERE ARE THE ETHICS IN THIS
COMPANY


NOW THEY ARE TELLING MORE LIES TO THE DEPT OF FAIR
EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING JEFF TELLS THEM WHY I WAS FIRED
AND THEIR LAWYERS TELL THE US DEPT OF LABOR THAT I AM
STILL EMPLOYEED
PLEASE HELP US GET THIS STORY OUT TO THE WORLD IF IT
ISN'T TOO MUCH TO ASK:) HOW DO YOU FIGHT LIARS, HOW DO
THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT
CITIBANK IN CARMEL 831-624-8258 CALL AND ASK THEM
WHERE I AM ASK FOR KATHLEEN AND ASK HER WHY SHE LIES
THIS WOMAN WAS HAVING CITIBANK PAY FOR HER DAUGHTER
OVERDRAFTS AND HER A TELLER REFUND HER OWN DAUGHTER
MONEY WHILE THE MANAGER WAS OUT ON VACATION SO WHY
SHOULD ANYONE BELEIVE THIS UNETHICAL PERSON JUST AS
JEFF URSINO THE MANAGER OF THE CAPITOLA BRANCH LIES TO
HIS BOSSES TO MAKE HIMSELF LOOK BETTER PLEASE HELP US
WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME
HOW DO YOU FIGHT A CORPORATION LIKE THIS
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
DAMARI AND CITIBANK HERE IS THE TRUTH!!
To set the record straight!
Damari was fired by Citibank in Carmel!
Damari did not leave the bank to go work for her
husband!!!!
DAMARI HAD NO PLANS TO LEAVE CITIBANK!
DAMARI PLANNED ON STAYING FOR ANOTHER 16YRS.
THE BENEFITS WERE VERY IMPORTANT TO HER FAMILY!!
DAMARI WAS FIRED VIA UPS WHILE AT HOME ILL DUE TO WORK
RELATED STRESS BROUGHT ON BY THE MANAGER AND THE
UNFAIR AND UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES
ALONG WITH BEING THREATEN AND HARASSED
BY THE MANAGER FOR JOB ABANDOMENT.
SEVERAL OF
Citibank clients have TOLD HER that they have been
told by the staff at the Carmel branch :
THAT SHE LEFT TO GO WORK FOR HER HUSBAND!
THIS IS AN OUTRIGHT LIE!!!!
What else will they lie about?
Are they ashamed of what was done??
WHY DO THEY FEEL THEY NEED TO SAY SHE LEFT TO GO WORK
WITH HER HUSBAND
( I DO NOT WORK FOR MY HUSBAND)
( I DO NOT WORK FOR JND PLUMBING)
(NOR AM I ON VACATION)
INSTEAD OF JUST TELLING THE TRUTH ?
IS THERE ANYONE IN THE CARMEL BRANCH THAT COULD SWEAR
TO THIS? NO!

ENOUGH WITH THE LIES CITIBANK!!!
IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD THIS PLEASE SEND HER AN EMAIL
CITIBANK TOLD
THE US LABOR DEPT WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION ,
ON 08/08/06
THAT I AM STILL AN EMPLOYEE
YET I HAVE LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS
THAT CLEARLY USE THE WORDS
TERMINATED
NO LONGER WITH THE COMPANY
FORMER EMPLOYEE
AND MY 401K AND PENSION HAVE BEEN SENT TO ME AS OF
8/24/06 I HAVE YET TO GET THE LETTER FROM CITIBANK
WHICH EXPLAINS HOW I AM STILL AN EMPLOYEE! HOW LONG
DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A LETTER IF YOU ARE TELLING THE
TRUTH HOW CAN THEY SAY TO THE US DEPT OF LABOR THAT I
AM STILL AN EMPLOYEE YET THEY TELL THE DFEH THAT THEY
FIRED ME FOR NOT CALLING IN, WHAT IS THE TRUTH
CITIBANK??????????
CITIBANK STATES THAT I WAS FIRED FOR NOT CALLING IN
YET MY DOCTOR CALLED IN FOR ME THE DAY BEFORE AND ALSO
FAXED IN A NOTE FOR ME WHICH THE MANAGER RETURNED TO
ME WITH MY LETTER OF TERMINATION. THEY KNEW THE DAY
BEFORE THAT I WASN'T COMING IN SO WHY WOULD HE CALL TO
ASK IF I WAS COMING IN IF IT WAS CLEARLY STATED ON THE
NOTE AND TOLD TO THEM BY MY DOCTOR TO PROTECT MY
HEALTH
JUST MORE LIES BY THE CITIBANK STAFF IN CARMEL

SENT TO--DCSbears...

I whole heartedly understand you delemma, and my heart goes
out to you.
a few years back, I worked for citibank/corp. for one full year.
It was without doubt the worst job, and the worst nightmare I have
ever lived. The treatment of employees was abominable, among many
other things. .
I worked with people that had been there for years. They were not treated
any better, than I was.
I quit in the middle of the day. I sat in my car for a good twenty minutes
breathing in what was for me, the most fresh air I had in one year.
In the following year, at least six people I had worked with, and had been there
for years, were let go, with the very worst excuses ever. Of course the lost all
benifits, and retirments.
Needless to say, I have never again banked with them, or used one of their credit
cards, or have done any other business with them, whatsoever, and when asked I inform orher companies why.
I have always...and to this day, informed everyone within earshot, of that disgusting thing, know as "citibank/corp.
I am sorry they got you. I hope you get them.

FROM AOL BLOG THANK YOU FOR YOU THOUGHTS
CITIBANK FIRES ME FOR NOT "FOLLOWING POLICY "
YET THEY DIDN'T FOLLOW THEIR OWN POLICY CITIBANK IS UN FAIR AND UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES
WHAT KIND OF MAN FIRES YOU WHILE YOU ARE ILL KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE WORK RELATED STRESS AND YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE IS UP?
HOW HEARTLESS IS THIS CITIBANK MANAGER WHO COULDN'T WAIT FOR ME TO GET WELL?
CITIBANK MADE THE LIST OF THE 100 BEST COMPANIES FOR WORKING MOTHERS BUT AS I WAS ATTEMPTING TO PUT MY DAUGHTER FIRST THEY FIRED ME!!!
I WASN'T GIVEN AN EXIT INTERVIEW NOR WERE MY KEYS ASK FOR BUT THAT IS THEIR POLICY! HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE MY FINAL PAYCHECK WITH MY LETTER OF TERMINATION AND THEY DEPOSITED IT INTO MY ACCOUNT WHICH IS NOT CALIF CODE
THE FOLLOWING IS FROM SOMEONE ON LINE
My heart goes out for you, just know that things happen for a resound and what go around must come around!! I myself am having my own issue with Citibank!!! I was approved for a lone and used my car as collateral which later I contacted them to hand me over the Title for renewal and it?s been now 3 ½ months I have been waiting for it and now have to deal with my vehicle parked without insurance and Citibank?s excuse is that Motor Vehicle can not locate my title and the most frustrating thing is that all the time I call I must have gave my # over 20 times and never get a call back regarding the status of my situation I would have to repeat myself all over again to a new rep??.How frustrating!!! Well that is the story of life??????Drama??????.Good Luck.
To OCC office

THank you for your reply and for requesting information form Citibank. Citibank states that I was fired for not following policy but yet they didn't follow their own policy and guide lines nor were they equal and fair in how they treated each employee.

Citibank states that I was fired for not calling in, but I did have my doctor call in at the end of my doctors appointment on 12/12/05 and my doctor also faxed on a note. Contact was made with the bank. My doctor called in to protect my health.
I have copies of some of Citibank policy which are in the employee hand book and from what I have read Citibank and the manager didn't follow proper procedure. Before firing they are to consider your work performance and take that into consideration and my reviews were very good. I never got a verbal warning just written up and the write up was not correct with errors. Citibank gives an exit interview which I didn't get nor was I asked to send in my keys.
Citibank sent me my Cobra papers and never offered me FMLA, when they find put that I was applying for disability or that I was disabled they reinstated my benefits and made them retro to 01/01/06 WHY BECAUSE THEY MESSED UP
Citibank then sends me a check for about six weeks worth of pay with no deductions for benefits then all of a sudden they start deducting for medical and dental and now I have to pay for these benefits out of my pocket
Many if Citibank clients have told me they have been told that I left to work for my husband or that I am on vacation.
Lisa Austin of Citigroup mentioned that when I go back to work they would set up payments for some of these benefits but she couldn't explain how this would happened after I explained that I had been fired. Is Citibank going to fire me again via UPS when my doctor feels that I am well enough to look for work?
Citibank didn't; follow policy to the tee and fires me for not following policy to the tee but had no heart about me being ill and my doctor helping me out.
Citibank made the list of the best 100 companies for working mother to work at but as I try to put my daughter first they started harassing me with abandonment and corrective action.
My seniority didn't matter to them.
Ronon at the US Dept of labor, wage and hour division ( 1-415-744-5590 ext 226 ) was told by Citigroup attorney that I was still employed and they would send a letter to explain but the letter never came.
Citibank fired me while in the middle of a workers comp pending case.
Ann at the DFEH ( 1-408-277-1916 ) was lied to by Jeff Ursino and Kathleen Munoz, they explain to the DFEH how and why they fired me.
Again Citibank violated state labor codes and more.
Employees which are unethical are still working there and I get fired for having my doctor call in, these employees broke company policy and still have jobs.
Citibank recently sent me a letter thanking me for my five years of service and it states looking forward to another five years but I was fired on 12/13/05 a few days later a get another letter stating that yes I had been terminated and the stocks that were issued to me for being a good employee had been taken back due to an error in their system. I believe the only error is that I was wrongfully terminated and Citibank is back tracking trying to cover up their mistakes.
My pension and 401k have been sent to me due to termination and then I get the letter saying looking forward to another five years.
Jeff Ursino knew that the tellers were cooking the books and none of them were written up or fired. Kathleen was refunding her daughter money and having Citibank pay for her overdrafts and she still has a job and Jeff knew about this. Unfair unequal treatment of employees.
Why did it take Citibank a few weeks to give me a clear reason as to why I was fired? Why was my final check deposited into my account, why was I fired via UPS, Why was my final check not ordered until 12/14/05? Why did Chrys Smith call workers comp on 12/14/05 to see if my case was going to be denied but yet didn't bother telling them that they had already fired me? This is violation of code 132A.
Why doesn't the staff at Citibank in Carmel simply say "she is no longer with us" instead of all the lies?
Why was Citibank so strict with me and the policy and yet not the other employees?
Why was it ok for Andrea to change her schedule but not me and I had the seniority over her?
Citibank told the Office of Thrift Supervision that they were dealing with it internally and the office asked them to send me a letter of explanation yet they never did.
How many other state codes have they ignored and violated?
Jeff Ursino states that he was calling to see if I was coming in yet he returns to me the faxed in note by my doctor with my letter of termination which clearly stated that I would be out for a few more days? Jeff knew I wasn't coming in he just fired me because I wanted to communicate via email to protect my blood pressure and stress level. Is it against the law to protect yourself? They wamt to hold me to the letter of theit policy but don't follow their policy or state codes to the letter of policy.

Posted by: DAMARI | November 21, 2006 8:47 AM

Interesting post there DAMARI.

This is applies to the article, how?

Anyway, the FTC won't get Zango (or any other company) to comply until the fines exceed the profits. If Zango pulls in 50 Million, fine them 75 million. If they go broke, too bad.

Posted by: Hmmm | November 21, 2006 9:34 AM

Hey DAMARI-

Did you just learn to use a computer last week? STOP USING ALL-CAPS. IT IS ANNOYING. NOBODY READS STUFF THAT IS POSTED IN ALL-CAPS. IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT. See?

Also, try to stay on topic. Your rant against Citibank is wasted in this forum. At least I think it is, I didn't read past the first 2 sentences.

Posted by: blahblahblah | November 21, 2006 9:57 AM

Creators and proliferators of spyware, viruses, and worms should be turned over for the most harsh criminal punishment available in the world. These are not playful kids next door, but sociopaths with a global reach. These criminals need to fear death and dismemberment, not dream of the lucrative careers they may be launching.

Posted by: bigolpoofter | November 21, 2006 10:45 AM

I think che shaved his moustache and is calling himself DAMARI now.

Anyway, spyware marketers/promoters/writers should personally have to give (supervised) live technical support to remove their software from every affected user. A few years of 80-hour weeks of such community service would be an effective deterrent.

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | November 21, 2006 12:31 PM

Why are adware companies are legal at all? Do they have a powerful lobby? They must, otherwise, why would this type of clearly criminal activity be tolerated?

Oh, and DAMARI -- get a therapist. You are angry and frustrated, you need professional help. Even though you feel like a victim, no one is feeling any sympathy to you after looking through your rant. Your former boss might even use it to prove that you weren't emotionally stable and were very disruptive.

Posted by: Elle | November 21, 2006 12:37 PM

Holy cow! Well, che has morphed into CHE, and now we have DAMARI. I do agree the comment was misplaced. What the heck are we supposed to do for him/her? Get an attorney. Sheesh.

As for spyware, I hardly think anyone is a "user" of that company. Why can't my computer be treated like an extension of my property, and make it illegal for anyone to touch it or mess with it without my clear unambiguous consent? Someone could not deface my car without legal consequences, so why can they deface my computer with spyware?

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | November 21, 2006 1:27 PM

On a side note: I read Damari's rant. Well, dear, how are you any different from the people who get fired every day for circumstances beyond their control? My mother has a better case against her former employer - for disability discrimination after 18 years on the job - than you do against citibank. What did she do? She looked at her legal options (pre-ADA), went into suicidal depression, survived and...here's the kicker...MOVED ON with her life. She found work elsewhere after six years of searching and has never looked back. I suggest you do the same.

I doubt you'll read these words, since your post was most likely spam, but hey I tried. News flash: Citibank is a soulless corporation, although they serve me well as a creditor. Did you expect anything different than the treatment you got from them. In a nutshell: They only care about profits. They don't care about you, Damari.

Well there goes my career as Dr. Phil-ette.

;)

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | November 21, 2006 1:38 PM

Ouch! I can see why Damari's boss had to fire her/him using mail when he/she was out. Can you imaging firing Damari in person?!

Posted by: Ira | November 21, 2006 1:51 PM

Cyansquirrel-

The theory would be trespass to chattels. And it has been invoked in some cases:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/ericjsinrod/2005-10-11-spyware_x.htm

Though I think some definitive law passed by Congress would be a better idea. It should be just plain illegal to install spyware on people's computers. And it's racketeering to make them buy your crappy anti-spyware program to get rid of it. Like hiring the mob to "protect" your store.

I think the people who own this company should be banned from using computers for 10 years. And I wish the government would crack down on these folks more extensively.

Posted by: Cliff | November 21, 2006 2:02 PM

Thanks for the link, Cliff. It's nice to have a name for that concept and a clear explanation of its application for us non-legal folks.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | November 21, 2006 2:15 PM

Excuse my naivete, (sometimes my computer smarts are not totally tech-savvy) but, how does one unwittingly download this software?

In the column you said:

"* Cease communications with the computers of consumers who had unknowingly downloaded Zango software before Jan. 1, 2006, either by monitoring the user's Web surfing activities or delivering pop-up ads;

* Stop installing its adware without consumers' consent and instead offer clear and prominent disclosures; "

What might raise a red flag? What should I be on the alert for? Is it questionable Web sites that offers FREE downloads, are there any particular sites that use Zango
'behind the scenes' -- so to speak?


Posted by: Anne Drew | November 21, 2006 4:46 PM

I wonder if the feds or some enterprising state AG could RICO Zango. Assuming the spyware is installed without permission, or with permission not knowingly granted (such as burying it in a mass of fine print written in the most exotic legalese), then each installation might be considered a separate event. Perhaps this might be considered hacking, the sort of which gets people prosecuted when they hack into, e.g., the DOD system.

I agree that Zango will continue as long as the profits exceed the penalties. This is why RICO would be a great tool if it fits. Zango's CEO could go to jail for a couple of hundred years, and the fines would be massive.

Posted by: Garak | November 21, 2006 5:37 PM

Do not bother subscribing to the Washington Post if you live in Lexington Park, MD.

I have not had a paper delivered for the last two weeks, the delivery subcontractor does not acknowledge or return phone calls, and neither does the Washington Post.

Don't waste your money paying for a product not delivered.

Posted by: Don't Bother | November 22, 2006 9:40 AM

Why are soo many peole angry with O.J. Simpson, when he was found innocent of two murders?

Baretta was found innocent of murdering his wife, yet not a peep from the news media or the public.

Posted by: MM1235MM9 | November 23, 2006 11:43 PM

To Anne:

You don't have to click on anything to wind up with this crap on your system - certain pop-up ads set the download in motion. I've never in my life clicked on an ad on the internet, never even opened a spam email much less looked at the attached file. But a couple years back, my computer wound up infected with three different programs from these jerks. I even caught it in the middle of a download once.

Oh, and while I probably shouldn't blame them for every problem my computer has developed, I've noticed that since trying to get rid of their crap half the software that runs the touchpad doesn't run, none of the hot keys to change the volume or screen contrast work, and I can't get Ad-Aware to fully download.

The only way not to have been attacked by this company is to have never gone online in the first place.

Posted by: MB | November 28, 2006 10:20 AM

There need to be criminal penalties for companies like this. They are stealing from people, in that they are stealing our time and making our lives difficult. They are invading our computers (private property) without our permission.

We'll continue to see this until we start giving our real criminal penalties. Time in prison.

Of course, that won't stop the overseas folks. But at least some of that can be handled through treaties with other countries, like China, Russia, etc.

Posted by: Hillman | November 28, 2006 2:19 PM

White Power!!!

Posted by: WP | December 2, 2006 7:51 PM

Thank you for all the comments, good, bad and indifferent.For those of you whom I upset I am very sorry. It has now been about a year and things are moving along, yes I have had some, alot of therapy, this hit me hard but we are moving on. I have 2 attorneys dealing with this. I admitt that I had alot to learn and I have learned that we really don't matter to corporate America it really is just about profits. My fight is not just for me but for all those wrongfully treated by corporate America. I didn't realize that all caps was so offensive, sorry to that one. Life is all about learning and this was a very hard lesson for us. Again, sorry if I offended anyone I am getting better now. As far as the manager goes, he will just have to live with what he has done and I wish him and his family the best hoping that no one ever treats them as he did us. God Bless Us All

Posted by: Damari | December 9, 2006 7:00 AM

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