Adware and Spyware

First, let me make my opinion clear: The installation of adware should be illegal and harshly punished. Adware has exploded because it offers big economic incentives for its sponsors. They’ll never adequately inform PC users about their software before it’s installed. This troubling aspect of adware will never be wished away. Only software that a PC user specifically consents to should legally be able to install … and “end-user license agreements” that stretch off the screen should never be counted as consent. (This isn’t a knock on “ad-supported software,” such as the Opera browser. Such legitimate software is clearly integrated with its advertising and makes it easy to shut off the ads by registering.) In reality, today’s tech-illiterate legislatures will never ban adware … if they could even think of an effective legal approach to do so. We need to engage the battle on a technical level instead. To understand adware, you first need to know how PCs get it. The ways that Howes obtained the adware he used in his tests provide us with some perfect examples:

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