An new coalition aimed at fighting spyware and spyware pushers was announced today. The project called StopBadware.org is sponsored by Google, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems. The organizers include Harvard Law School's Berkman Center, Oxford Internet Institute and Consumer Reports' Webwatch. The term "badware" is defined on the site as:
a term we use to encompass the broad range of malicious software that is sneaking onto people's computers, including spyware and deceptive adware. It can subvert your computer for the benefit for a third party, frustrate you with unwanted advertising, and even steal your most personal information.
The site includes a form to tell your spyware or badware horror stories and a form where users can report details about malware/badware. A draft copy of the software guidelines defining badware is available here. A Google newsgroup has been established to discuss stopbadware.org and how it can work. I like the sound of the word badware, but I have to wonder how some adware companies will react to having their software labeled as "badware".
A somewhat similar effort called SiteAdvisor was launched recently. (And my apologies for not blogging about SiteAdvisor sooner. I just need a few more hours in the day or to learn how to go without sleep.) I'll do separate post about SiteAdvisor to give it proper attention.