[funsec] Zango Alleges Kaspersky Lab Spyware Is 'Badware' Itself

Richard M. Smith rms at computerbytesman.com
Tue Apr 1 19:16:08 CDT 2008


Zango Alleges Kaspersky Lab Spyware Is 'Badware' Itself 
by Wendy Davis, Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008 8:00 AM ET 

ADWARE PURVEYOR ZANGO IS PRESSING forward with its case that spyware removal
vendor Kaspersky Lab wrongly interfered with Zango's relationships with Web

In papers filed with a federal appeals court, Bellevue, Wash.-based Zango
argued that Kaspersky, which removes software that serves pop-up ads, should
itself be considered "badware." "Kaspersky disabled Zango without the
customer's consent and without the customer's ability to override
Kaspersky's invasive actions," Zango argued to the Ninth Circuit in a brief
filed late last week. "Kaspersky inflicted this interference by behaving
like the very 'badware' from which it purported to protect consumers." 

But Kaspersky's lawyer said this view isn't supported by the facts. "The
reason consumers buy or download anti-spyware programs is precisely to have
the option of addressing this particular type of software," said Bruce E.H.
Johnson, attorney for Kaspersky, headquartered in Woburn, Mass. 
Zango declined to elaborate on the arguments in its appellate brief. 

Last August, federal district court judge John Coughenour in Seattle
dismissed Zango's lawsuit on the grounds that the federal Communications
Decency Act shielded Kaspersky from liability. That law has a "good
samaritan" clause that protects interactive computer services from liability
for good faith efforts to restrict the availability of material that users
consider objectionable. While there have been a handful of other lawsuits
against spyware removal companies, Zango's case against Kaspersky appears to
mark the first time a court ruled definitively on the issue. 


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