As Suzi Turner and Greg Keizer have blogged, Eliot Spitzer's office has file an "affirmation" and a "petition" against the owners and executives of Direct Revenue. Take a moment to read the 75 and 26 page documents and you will be sickened and entertained at the depths to which these guys sunk. They talk of "hammering" end user PC's with pop up ads. The Office of the Attorney General obtained lots of internal correspondence. These hoodlums hired a private investigator to harrass one vocal critic (is that you Ben?). Then go on to read the rebuttal at Direct Revenue's website. It is laughable to see what these scumbags think is a rebuttal. The PR firm representing them should show some backbone and walk away from doing their dirty work for them. Let them concoct their own fatuous rebuttals.
The petition asks the court to make Direct Revenue pay $500 per instance of illegally installed software. Since that number is in the millions this could be the end of yet another spyware vendor.
Greg Keizer quotes from the court documents:
"Yet the individual respondents eventually became blasé even about the shame of operating one of the most reviled companies in America. Forwarding a critical Information Week article, one of the company's partners cavalierly noted, 'At least we're not Ebola'" (p. 66).
The Ebola reference is from a TechWeb story I wrote on March 30, 2005 that was re-posted to InformationWeek, in which I quoted Richard Stiennon, then with anti-spyware vendor Webroot, as saying another spyware program, CoolWebSearch, was "the Ebola of the Internet."
Yeah, Direct Revenue is not the Ebola of the Internet. It is the Anthrax of the Internet.