Tag Archives: spyware

4 Organizations Release Anti-Surveillance Software

The EFF, Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, and Privacy International have teamed up to release an anti-surveillance program called Detekt. Detekt rightly cautions users against being lulled into a false sense of security; the failure by Detekt to find any traces of spyware on your computer does not mean that spyware doesn’t exist. In fact, even if Detekt finds something, that doesn’t mean there is additional spyware that it failed to detect.

The program doesn’t appear or claim to be the definitive solution to the surveillance of journalists by repressive regimes; it only claims to detect FinFisher and Hacking Team RCS. In fact, Continue reading 4 Organizations Release Anti-Surveillance Software

Watch Out for Bundled Third-Party Software

Update (September 7, 2014): Today, I updated a computer to Java 8 Update 20. This time, I know for a fact that the boxes that lead to installation of an Ask program and change my home page settings were checked by default. Here’s what the installer for Java 8 Update 20 pops up:

Updated screenshot

Guess what? They changed the word “Toolbar” to “Search App”. Is that supposed to make the program more palatable? Giving the program a different name doesn’t change its nature. Nor does it change the fact that it’s an opt out, rather than an opt in third-party program.

My original post (July 26, 2014):

Screenshot

Last week, I was updating Java on a computer when I got the following pop-up. Although I’m not 100% certain, I believe the box next to “Install the Ask Toolbar in Internet Explorer” was checked, thus installing a toolbar into the browser of any unwary user. This situation is not news; Oracle has been doing this for over a year already. Nevertheless, I thought I’d take a moment to remind everyone not to click those “next” buttons in program installers without reading what you’re agreeing to.

Many companies, including large and well-known ones, bundle third-party programs into the installers for their own software. When you’re updating a program, how often do you read through every prompt Continue reading Watch Out for Bundled Third-Party Software