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chengrob

Let's Get Going! Anti Spyware Brigade

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It would seem that at least one of the recepients is/was unhappy with my mailing.

 

My ISP wrote today stating in brief that they have recieved a complaint that I may be in violation of the term s of the fair use policy included in my ISP contract. They went on to indicate that they have "investigated one or more complaints" and that they would like a full and complete explanation of my service use or services will be terminated.

 

Unfortunately they did not say which of the 30 plus provisions of the fair use policy I am accused of violating nor did they indicate where the complaint originated from. This makes a defense difficult although having reviewed the policy I do not see any possible violation (but I am no lawyer). Lacking an accuser I do not know, but I must suspect, that it is related to the anti-gator campaign.

 

Thoughts?

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Well if you don't download music that would be my guess.You should be able to know your accuser. :nospys:

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Se4nd them a nice little explaination of what's going on, with links to the spyware page. Most ISP's don't like spyware either. They might even join in!!

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It would be a good response except that they (the ISP) claim that they have "investigated the allegation and found it credible". Assuming that this is not more homeland security like investigation they must have the original letter and think it constitutes a violation. I have asked what the specific allegation is and if it is the anti- Gator campaign I will defend my activites although they do not appear to violate the fair use agreement.

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If they give you too much crap, maybe they might end up on the boycot list. :mrgreen:

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Country Dave,

 

I would make sure that your ISP is indeed referring to this activity. If it is, I would suggest that they come to our site and join in the debate. Also, if anything does happen, please post it here. We are all in this together, and I honestly believe that we will have to weather these scare tactics. We have been having an ongoing conversation with Gator's lawyers, and although they have sent us said many threatenings in writing, they still have not come up with a specific allegation. Just because they don't like what we are doing does not make it illegal!!!!

 

Hang in there, we will find our way through all of this.

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Well I will hang in. I agree that I believe the action was/is legal. I just don't look forward to the inconvenience. Still the letter writing campaign appears to have had some favorable results. :)

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From hooked on Phonics:

Thank you for your email. I have contacted our IT department regarding your email. They have asked me to inquire from you on which page does this information show. They are unaware of any spyware advertising from our web site and do not endorse it at all. Thank you.

 

Mary Dart

Customer Service Manager

Seems like they need some more info

 

Edit: I just check their site and got a pop-up but not from Gator or overture....seem like they are legit.

What do I tell them? sorry?

Edited by intratech2000

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clg2277 Posted: Sep 8 2003, 07:39 PM

wow i got 2 responces from real people...

1)

From: [email protected] | This is spam | Add to Address Book

Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 14:28:01 EDT

Subject: Re: Awareness Letter

To: [email protected]

 

:filtered: off stop sending me your :filtered:

 

that was a real nice one...

edit: i sent one back that stated; stop advertising with gator and i will

and this is the responce i was given to that..

 

From: [email protected] | This is spam | Add to Address Book

Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 14:39:48 EDT

Subject: Re: Awareness Letter

To: [email protected]

 

:filtered: YOU A$$HOLE - NOT MY ISSUE YOU FA**IT - GET A LIFE - SEND ME SOMETHING ELSE AND I'LL :filtered: YOU HARD  .. i think he wants to be my friend..  

I don't know what policies you have in the US for use of company e mail , but this guys reply would constitute gross misconduct and would result in a disciplinary in the UK ,(If it was done from the company you originally posted to ) possibly leading to dismissal .....

 

Must make sure that any returned e mail is polite and civil , however much some people dislike Gator .......

I just dont use gator, and run the usuall regularly (Tracks erasor , Ad aware, Spybot ,AVG and Spywareblaster, always with the latest updates)

 

There are quite a few of us from the windows forum following this post with interest...

 

Something from a UK paper about an American court ruling

Internet users will continue to be plagued by unwanted pop-up adverts after a US judge ruled websites can do nothing to prevent companies placing ads on their pages without permission.......

Alas, we computer users must endure pop-up advertising," district judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled in a US court in Virginia.

The Guardian ...US Judge rules on pop up ads

 

Documentation of Gator Advertisements and Targeting

 

More money in spam and pop ups than you think

Edited by Tankus

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All I seem to have got is a couple of the automated responses, don't seem to have ruffled anyone's feathers, no hate mail ...... yet

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I think that "Hooked on Phonics" may not be directly involved, it is one of their resellers. When I do a search in Google for "phonics" the Gator Search Scout pops up with this window:

Gator stolen search for "phonics"

There is a link to a site, myconsumerguide.com, that sells HoP. In our page to advertisers, we mention that this is a way that unsuspecting companies may end up supporting spyware:

http://www.pcpitstop.com/spycheck/advertisers.asp

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clg2277 Posted: Sep 8 2003, 07:39 PM

wow i got 2 responces from real people...

1)

From: [email protected] | This is spam | Add to Address Book

Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 14:28:01 EDT

Subject: Re: Awareness Letter

To: [email protected]

 

:filtered: off stop sending me your :filtered:

 

that was a real nice one...

edit: i sent one back that stated; stop advertising with gator and i will

and this is the responce i was given to that..

 

From: [email protected] | This is spam | Add to Address Book

Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 14:39:48 EDT

Subject: Re: Awareness Letter

To: [email protected]

 

:filtered: YOU A$$HOLE - NOT MY ISSUE YOU FA**IT - GET A LIFE - SEND ME SOMETHING ELSE AND I'LL :filtered: YOU HARD  .. i think he wants to be my friend..  

 

i assume that aol in the usa have the same policy as uk/europe

 

taken from my aol membership agreement

 

3. Proper online conduct is essential

 

Online conduct should be guided by common sense and basic etiquette. You will breach the Member Agreement if you (or others using your account) do any of the following:

 

- Post, transmit, promote, or distribute content that is illegal.

 

- Harass, threaten, embarrass, or do anything else to another member that is unwanted. So don't say bad things about them, don't keep sending them unwanted Instant Messages, don't attack their race, ethnicity, etc. If you disagree with someone, respond to the subject, not the person.

 

Transmit or facilitate distribution of content that is harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, crude, sexually explicit, or in a reasonable person's view, objectionable. Community standards may vary, but there is no place on AOL where abusive or hateful speech is tolerated.

 

2. Don't break the law.

 

The laws that apply in the offline world must be obeyed online as well. We have zero tolerance for illegal behaviour on AOL. We terminate accounts and cooperate with the police and other law enforcement agencies on such matters.

 

 

 

i have not yet had a personal response from [email protected] but i will use one of my aol accounts to email him/her again......and its not a thing i like doing but if i receive a similar response i will use the aol report to cos/tos feature .....also in the uk (im pretty certain but will check properly) its a breach of member agreement to use aol for non home use...ie not to be used for business addresses.

 

im sure this person is well aware about never replying to spam email.(as he/she puts it)

and if country dave gets a "warning " from his isp if it came from the gator list letter then [email protected] must be one of the favourites.

if i do recieve a similar abusive response

i will inform other aol users who hate spyware and get them to send the letter and assuming they get a similar response then aol cos/tos will take the appropriate action against [email protected]

 

if this is the case then aol will terminate this idiots account and country dave

can inform his isp that the person he suspects who reported him has himself been reported and is in the process of having his/her account terminated for transmitting abuse , bad language, crude, harmfull and threatening behaviour.

 

as the personal replies start to come in we will be able to narrow down who is responsible for reporting country dave i know for certain that it is not m.hoffman from canada north i have a few personal emails from him and he hates spyware as much as we do .

 

 

i found this link about spam laws but havent looked through it yet

spamlaws.com

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These messages are not spam.

 

Unsolicited Commercial Email is called "spam". These emails are not spam, any more than writing your elected official is spam. Yes, these businesses often do not want to get the message we are giving them, but that does not make it spam.

 

As a consumer you are making your displeasure known to these businesses by sending them ONE letter. Our goal is to raise awareness of the spyware problem, and as you can tell from the responses many businesses are concerned about their reputation being marred by an association with spyware. Others are confused as to how their ads are showing up in spyware, and we've attempted to educate them with our spyware center. We are not asking these businesses to buy anything from us, we are asking them to understand the implications of their advertising choices.

 

Once we have received a response from a company and believe they are aware of the issues we are trying to raise, we have removed them from the list. I don't think that Mitchell Crum (the USSOG.COM guy with the great mastery of four-letter words) gets it at all, or maybe he doesn't care. And in case you think that we are pestering him for no reason, here is his listing in Gator Search Scout.

 

If anyone has suggestions on other ways to raise awareness, or perhaps changes to the sample letter that would make our intent clear, let us know.

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I just got home to my e-mail & found that my ISP had responded. They wrote in part "Thank you for your response. Below you will see the information used to identify the computer that sent sent the spam e-mail, also listed below, for your review. The receipient of the e-mail sent from your PC has reported message as spam, unsolicitated e-mail." Followed by the body of my e-mail absent the address. I am unable to identify where the complaint originated.

 

I had already replied to the ISP before reviewing the progrss here on the forum.

 

I made the following points politely. (1) The fair use policy does not indicate that unsolocited e-mail is prohibited (2) Most e-mail, even discounting commercial solicitation, is unsolicited (3) The original e-mail represented a genuine concern on part about the use of my computer and its resources (4) That I believe the ISP would/should have an interest in the use of their server and bandwidth being used by advertisers with limited knowledge by the consumer.

 

Nevertheless their letter continued to threaten action against me and my service access. They did not propose a solution so I am not sure what their plans are.

 

On a different note. I am not a fan of cookies but I am generally willing to accept cookies for the convenience they provide. Perhaps this is a rationalization but I do not see cookies as as much of a problem as the registry changes and active data gathering and transmission that Gator engages in. Perhaps this is just my rationalization.

 

Thanks for the support.

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Guest Donna

Who's your ISP, maybe they are linked to Gator?

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Guest Donna

Did you see this in the terms of use?

 

 

HOW MYBRIGHTHOUSE.COM USES INFORMATION PROVIDED BY YOU

 

mybrighthouse.com uses this information to provide you with the service you have requested.

 

mybrighthouse.com does not sell our users' e-mail addresses. However, unless otherwise specified, we may share e-mail addresses and sell or share all other information with our affiliates and with carefully selected companies who we think can offer you services and products of interest to you. If you do not wish to have your information shared, write to us at [email protected] If you do not wish to receive communications from us, simply follow the unsubscribe instructions contained within the e-mail.

Edited by Donna

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Country Dave,

 

Another thought. I honestly don't think what you did is wrong or deserving of any punishment. But on the other hand, it's not like you are going to do it again either. Either way, I would be shocked if they took any action against you.

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I didn't see that Donna. This is one of those cases where my ISP has been acquired and divested on more than 1 occasion. So the current use policy may not be consistent with the orginal not that I would have read it too closely either. :)

 

Chen- I agree. My fall back position is a commitment to not do it again but first I want them to tell me how what I did was wrong. I am not looking to get into a peeing contest but I simply don't understand that what I have done (communicating an opinion in a civil, non threateng fashion) is wrong. I would like the ISP to acknowledge that & inform the complainant that the complaint was unfounded.

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Guest Donna

* You agree not to use any obscene, indecent, or offensive language or to place on the Service any material that is defamatory, abusive, harassing, or hateful. Further, you may not place on the Service any material that is encrypted, constitutes junk mail or unauthorized advertising, invades anyone's privacy, or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or that otherwise violates any local, state, national or international law or regulation.

 

Do you think they would call it harassing?

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I considered that possibility but I made no threat and sent only 1 e-mail per recipient. Obviously they can define harrasment anyway they want but I doubt a jury would agree that one informational letter is harrasment. More significantly if they (the ISP) believe that 1 letter of complaint constitutes harrassment then I would think little e-mail could ever be sent.

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