A few weeks ago, AOL received a lot of flak for Netscape’s new “trust rating” system, its system for ranking the danger posed by a particular website. The problem is with some of the partners it “trusts” implicitly. which includes such luminaries as: VeriSign, TRUSTe, ParetoLogic. VeriSign openly acknowledges it does nothing to actually check the security of the sites it certifies, and Spyware Warrior provides just a smattering of domains that are “certified”:
direct-revenue.com (creators of Aurora and nail.exe)
Well, it’s gotten worse. Direct Revenue, a notorious spyware/adware company, has launched a new “product” called Aurora, which is out and out spyware. Over at Spywarewarrior, folks are hoppin’ mad and going as far as to start talking class-action lawsuits:
For aurora, I got a total of 17,896 search engine hits. These numbers include search strings like “remove nail.exe and aurora pop-ups. If you read the blog comments, people are angry as hell. People are talking class action lawsuits. One person wrote to his congresswoman. Another person called CEO Joahua Abrams on the phone.
Let’s hope they aim one of those lawsuits at AOL for this abomination. This is one of the essential problems with any system of “trust” that relies on a centralized infrastructure of largely corporate authorities, which we have railed against as a racket in the past. Can we really be expected to trust AOL to certify adware/spyware free websites when AOL’s business model is largely refocused entirely on advertising?