They pulled the trigger.. against Integrated Search Technologies

They pulled the trigger.. against Integrated Search Technologies

Summary: Hot off the wires: A complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against IST (Integrated Search Technologies) by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) for alleged spyware operations.

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TOPICS: Browser
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Hot off the wires:  A complaint was filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against IST (Integrated Search Technologies) by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) for alleged spyware operations.  The complaint alleges that IST and its affiliates "have engaged in a widespread campaign of installing unwanted software on users computers, and have done so using unfair and deceptive practices prohibited by federal law".

Specific practices outlined in the complaint include use of deceptive dialogue boxes, installation of up to 12 advertising programs that offer no user benefit and the use of unfairly difficult uninstillation procedures. ContextPlus, SurfAccuracy, Meridian Business Ventures, QuickLinks and Internet Optimizer are named as partners whose software is deceptively installed by IST along with IST's own software.  The complaint also states that IST is known for using exploits to install software. Indeed, I have witnessed that repeatedly. The full complaint, which can be viewed here (PDF), shows screenshots documenting deceptive installation procedures from NegativeBeats.com, a site that claims to offer free mp3 files of popular artists. 

Interestingly, the complaint states "CDT believes that the manufacturers of advertising display software should be held responsible for the illegal practices" and lists reasons including the fact that these companies continued to work with IST despite the wealth of documentation about IST's bad practices.

Companies must be held responsible for the actions of their affiliates.  While this is an established principle of unfair and deceptive practice laws generally, this principal is particularly important in this case because the affiliates are spread around the world. If companies are not held responsible for the actions of their foreign partners, they have no incentive either to scrutinize those partners' practices or to break off profitable relationships with known bad actors.

Amen, well said!

The CIPPIC is filing a similar complaint against Integrated Search Technologies with Canadian authorities. IST and their products are known by a number of names in spyware circles, including XXXToolbar, SearchBarCash-Hijacker, PowerScan, DownloadPlus, ToolBarCash, YourSiteBar, SearchCompanion, Slotch or Slotch toolbar, AzeSearch and Sidefind.

The complaint asks the FTC to investigate Integrated Search Technologies, the other companies named and their partners and affiliates. The CDT's press release can be found here. (PDF)  The CIPPIC's complaint can be downloaded here (PDF) and their Affidavit here (PDF).

Topic: Browser

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  • INTEGRATED SEARCH TECHNOLOGY TRICKS ON SHAREAZA

    I have been downloading shared files on Shareaza for a couple of years. Recently, many previously hard to get tracks have suddenly been available through a 'file sharing member' named Jironimo. These come in rar, zip and wmp format, and they download VERY quickly.

    When you have downloaded a file from Jironimo, you get an offer to obtain a 'Licence Acquisition". This leads to an agreement where you are supposed to accept the Integrated Search Technology toolbar & a host of programs, most obviously spyware.

    Shareaza prides itself - rightly - on not installing spyware. It has always been true to that. But there are now hundreds - maybe thousands of sound files of which the source is Jironimo (who is Integrated Search Technology). I took care to read their agreement (very long) and it is an affront to anyone.

    It would be very interesting to know whether or not Integrated Search Technology has the RIGHT to offer Licence Acquisition to all these tunes...

    Told Shareaza about it, and was told there was nothing they could do about it.

    Am tempted to install all their crap, but would want to know that VET & AVG anti virus, Ad-aware & CWshredder would, combined, get rid of it.

    Any advice?

    Mike.
    PALE_CRIMINAL