This week I covered The Antispyware Workshop, hosted by CNET Download.com, here and here. Esther Dyson moderated most of the event (downloadable MP3s of the entire event are here--registration req.) and just issued her latest Release 1.0 newsletter, "Spy vs Spy: The Accountable Net Part II" ($80 for non-subscribers), which covers the topic, including the leading spyware and antispyware companies, in great depth. Here's the abstract:
Last November we wrote about spam, and how that scourge could be addressed (not solved) by a horizontal approach - "the accountable Net" of interacting consumer awareness, vendor tools, authentication mechanisms and reputation systems, rather than a top-down regulatory approach.
This issue of Release 1.0 covers spyware - a serious Net-hygiene problem that is replacing spam as the scourge of the year - and its counterpart, adware. The mechanism to address it is similar: an accountable Net of consumer awareness, authentication mechanisms and branding of ads and their sources, and legislation to define the rules even if it is primarily the market that will enforce them. We believe that these mechanisms are beginning to work: The increasing visibility of the problems is accompanied by the increased transparency (and accountability) that will lead to a healthier market and a healthier Net. But this transition is a reminder of just how messy peer-to-peer regulation can be.