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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Web Site Heralds Anti-Spyware Decision, the consumer protection initiative developed to combat spyware, today applauded the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. District Court in Nevada for actions taken against ERG Ventures for distributing spyware and other malicious programs to millions of online consumers. Yesterday, the FTC announced that a temporary restraining order had been issued by the Court halting ERG's Web operations.

"The action by the U.S. District Court against ERG Ventures is proof that consumers have an effective voice in the fight against badware," says John Palfrey, co-director of and executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. "'s report on Team Taylor Made (an ERG affiliate), released in May, and the subsequent news coverage that followed, should have put them on notice. However, ERG continued to operate deceptively despite our efforts to get them to change their ways."'s report on Team Taylor Made's "Jessica Simpson Screen Saver" found that program bundles more than a dozen pieces of software, including undisclosed adware, a 'dialer' which automatically dials for-pay porn sites with a modem (if connected), and toolbars that modify the installer's browser. says its report was included as an attachment in the FTC's application for a temporary restraining order.

" applauds the FTC for their efforts, as well as the court's decision, to put a stop to ERG's ability to knowingly distribute malicious software to consumers," says Palfrey.

Launched in January,'s consumer-driven online community serves as a central resource to help educate people about badware and spotlight those companies who embed these programs into downloadable software applications. Internet users can visit to check whether programs they want to download are infected with badware and alert others to programs they have encountered that include malicious software such as spyware, incessant pop-up ads or other obtrusive programs.


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