Kazaa and Spyware

April 27, 2002
Tags Software

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Sharman Networks had this to say about kazaa and spyware:

No application included with your KMD installation, or the KMD itself, collects personally identifiable information about users without their consent.

Sharman Networks appreciates that users may have concerns relating to the use of 'spyware' particularly in Internet advertising.

KaZaA Media Desktop contains banner advertising and the option to install other third party applications in order to remain free to the user. Sharman Networks does not condone the use of 'spyware' and does not use 'spyware' in KaZaA Media Desktop.

Noted privacy software expert Steve Gibson of Gibson Research describes 'spyware' as:

"Spyware is any software (that) 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 communicating across the Internet absent of these elements is guilty of information theft and is properly and rightfully termed: Spyware."

All bundle partners must pass an acceptance testing procedure within Sharman Networks. This asks that all bundles can be completely uninstalled from your system if you choose to remove them and that quite specific privacy regulations are adhered to.

This is what I have to say about Kazaa and spyware:

They are LYING! According to that statement, Kazaa and all of it's neccessary or even any file required to install/use Kazaa are FREE of spyware. I know for a fact that isn't true because:

1)After downloading Kazaa Lite (check the downloads section of this site for more info) I haven't had ANY attempted hacks caught by my firewall.
2)AdAware and every other prominent SpyWare removal utility detects CyDoor and OnFlow (2 programs required for Kazaa to run) as spyware.

In the end, people will be smart enough to realize that Sharman Networks is lying and people will stop using Kazaa... Right... Well, at least they might know they're being screwed behind their backs instead of not knowing that everytime they download something a computer in New Zealand (that's where I traced the attempted hack by their network through http://www.symantec.com) registers and records it. Well, that's enough ranting for one night.


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