Originally posted Tuesday, Aug 29

After years of seeing all manner of user complaints, ridicule and
derision of AOL in various internet forums and most notably usenet, This
story comes as no real surprize. Even if AOL moves to change their
software to remove the behavior the folks at stopbadware.org are talking
about, this is going to be one of those things that just never goes away.

If for example, usenet posters thoght they had reason to slam AOL
before, this is going to be years worth of amunition that AOL will not
be allowed to forget for a very long time to come, if ever.

StopBadware.org
says AOL’s free client software displayed characteristics consistent
with "badware."

The New York Times
By Tom
Zeller Jr.
The New York Times
Published: August 28, 2006, 9:50 PM
PDT

Dealing yet another blow to AOL, a leading software watchdog group
warned users away from AOL’s free client software Monday on the ground
that it displayed characteristics consistent with "badware."

The term badware describes a wide array of downloadable
applications that try to install extra components on a computer
without clearly informing users of what they are or what they will do.

The group, StopBadware.org, posted an "open inquiry" into the AOL
software Monday, meaning that a dialogue has been opened with the
company and that a full "badware" designation is still pending.

The report, however, stated that the AOL client software, which
provides subscribers with a suite of services, also installed extra
software deceptively, altered the Web browser and other computer
components without notifying the user, and did not uninstall
completely, among other "badware behaviors."

Similar characteristics are often found in pernicious forms of
spyware and adware, often called malware. The StopBadware organization
was founded in part to assist consumers in spotting shady software.
The group is run by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at
Harvard Law School and the Oxford Internet Institute of Oxford
University.

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