Internet Adware Altnet.u Misuse
Throughout time, the internet is being abused. The big problem has been software viruses written by malicious teenage hackers finding their way into our personal computers to set up shop with their own agendas. But today we face a new and even more insidious threat: Internet companies, whose apparent “business model” is the exploitation of consumer trust and ignorance, are sneaking their spyware systems into our machines for their own purposes.
Spyware is ANY SOFTWARE which employs a user’s Internet connection in the background (the so-called “backchannel”) without their knowledge or explicit permission. Silent background use of an Internet “backchannel” connection MUST BE PRECEDED by a complete and truthful disclosure of proposed backchannel usage, followed by the receipt of explicit, informed, consent for such use. ANY SOFTWARE such as AdWare.Win32.Altnet.u communicating across the Internet absent these elements is guilty of information theft and is properly and rightfully termed: Spyware.
The news media has carried many stories about one company who were reportedly caught ‘red handed’ secretly profiling their users’ listening habits, a number of companies whose advertising, monitoring, and profiling software sneaks into our machines without our knowledge or permission, secretly tracks our web browsing, hijacks our web browser and alters our eMail signatures . . . and many other hopeful and exploitive newcomers on the horizon. When confronted with their actions, such companies invariably say “read the fine print, what we’re doing is spelled out there and the user agreed.” That’s odd, if the users understood and agreed, I wonder why those users are so surprised and upset when someone tells them — in plain language — exactly what’s going on?
There is use of anonymous surveillance for profit in the internet. Online profiling & tracking “privacy statements”, and backchannel “spyware” license agreements, invariably adopt identical cop-out terminology. They state that “no personally identifiable information” is being collected. It has been shown that in many instances this is an outright lie in itself, but even when, or if, it is true, I submit that these “identity stealing profilers” are nonetheless profiting from valuable information that has been stolen from us without our informed consent. I urge you to get a special software that warns you when any spyware known to us has entered your computer.