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FTC announces first spyware suit

[JURIST] The Federal Trade Commission announced at a press conference Tuesday that it has launched its first court action against a manufacturer of spyware, software that is downloaded off the Internet to a user's computer without his or her permission and then "spys" on their surfing habits. A FTC press release issued in conjunction with the press conference says that since December 2003 Seismic Entertainment Productions, Inc., Smartbot.Net, and Sanford Wallace had operated Web sites that distributing spyware, installing it on user machines and then inducing users to but software purporting to eliminate it, an unfair practice in violation of the FTC Act. Read the full FTC complaint filed Thursday here [PDF].

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