[TAG] Unwanted software
rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 11 02:53:11 MSK 2008
Quoting Mike Orr (sluggoster at gmail.com):
> Found this in the EULA for MSN Messenger accounts:
> Potentially Unwanted Software
> If you remove or disable "spyware", "adware" and other potentially
> unwanted software ("potentially unwanted software"), it may cause
> other software on your computer to stop working, and it may cause you
> to breach a license to use other software on your computer (such as
> where the other software installed the potentially unwanted software
> on your computer as a condition for your use of the other software).
> By using the features of the service intended to help you remove or
> disable potentially unwanted software, it is possible that you will
> also remove or disable software that is not potentially unwanted
> software. If a feature of the service prompts you before removing or
> disabling potentially unwanted software, you are solely responsible
> for selecting which potentially unwanted software the service removes
> or disables. Before authorizing the removal of any potentially
> unwanted software, you should read the license agreements for the
> potentially unwanted software.
> LICENSE AGREEMENTS for spyware??? I'm supposed to recognize what kind
> of spyware has been surreptitiously been installed on my computer, and
> know where its license agreement is?
> Fancy Microsoft discouraging people from eradicating spyware, and
> threatening them with a potential license violation if they do.
You're misreading what they're saying, here, and in consequence being a
bit unfair to our Redmondian friends.
They're saying that MSN Messenger service includes some _anti-spyware_
features that might, in the process of doing its job, might accidentally
disable some process you _want_ to have continue to run. It says that
the anti-spyware system monitor will pop up a screen asking you to vet
what it wants to disable, and the responsibility's totally on you if you
say "yes" and end up turning off something you later regret having
This reflects, in part, the pernicious way in which legitimate
MS-Windows software has become at best poorly distinguishable from
adware/spyware, and it's not unknown for the one to come bundled with
the other, and for various (nominally legitimate) proprietary software
packages to "phone home" information about the user, permission for
which chicanery the user usually but not always has "consented to"
(nominally) via misleadingly worded clauses in their licence agreements.
For perspective, it's also not unknown for this sort of treacherous
behaviour to occur in proprietary applications for Linux. That's why,
for example, my nameserver resolves the "remoteapproach.com" domain
locally, because, even though I wouldn't touch Adobe Acrobat Reader with
a ten-foot pole or an 11-foot Swede, visitors to my house sometimes do.
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