The Center for Democracy and Technology has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission relating to the Spy Wiper browser hijacking problem. (Spy Wiper has been discussed extensively at this blog since November; you can read my posts about Spy Wiper here.) Patterico is quoted in the FTC complaint, which you can read here.
CDT’s announcement reads:
The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Mailwiper Inc., Seismic Entertainment Media and/or their affiliates engaged in deceptive and unfair marketing practices by changing computer users’ Web homepages without their consent and then trying to convince these users that they needed the Mailwiper program called “Spy Wiper” software to protect their computer. CDT has heard from several consumers who have spent hours trying to fix their computer and some who even bought Spy Wiper to no avail. CDT asked consumers to provide information about their experiences with spyware via a Web site. CDT received hundreds of messages about different companies. Several of these messages were about Spy Wiper and their activities led CDT to investigate further.
People who wish to complain to the FTC about Spy Wiper can find a complaint form here.
P.S. Remember when I posted that I was “working on something very exciting” that “should bring a big smile to your face”? This is what I meant. Late last month, I exchanged e-mails with the people at CDT who were preparing the complaint. They asked me to write them with details of my experiences, and to include any information concerning how many people I believed had been affected. I researched how many people had visited my site looking for help getting rid of Spy Wiper, and sent them the details, which are quoted in the complaint. They asked me to keep it under wraps for a few days, and I complied.
I think the final product is a compelling piece of work, and my hat is off to the folks at CDT. I feel very satisfied to have made a small contribution towards the noble effort of shutting these lowlifes down. And I couldn’t have made this modest contribution if it weren’t for the power of blogs.