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Thread: We're not Spyware, dammit! We're going to sue!!!!

  1. #31
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    Talking US-CERT is on the ball!

    Wow, talk about timely release of info.
    I got this from US-CERT today...I get their Security Tips mailer for low-level info to share.

    Source
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    Cyber Security Tip ST05-005 archive
    Reviewing End-User License Agreements

    Before accepting an end-user license agreement, make sure you
    understand and are comfortable with the terms of the agreement.

    What is an end-user license agreement?

    An end-user license agreement (EULA) is a contract between you and the
    software's vendor or developer. Some software packages state that by
    simply removing the shrink-wrap on the package, you agree to the
    contract. However, you may be more familiar with the type of EULA that
    is presented as a dialog box that appears the first time you open the
    software. It usually requires you to accept the conditions of the
    contract before you can proceed. Some EULAs only apply to certain
    features of the software, so you may only encounter them when you
    attempt to use those features.

    Unfortunately, many users don't read EULAs before accepting them. The
    terms of each contract differ, and you may be agreeing to conditions
    that you later consider unfair or that expose you to security risks
    you didn't expect.

    What terms may be included?

    EULAs are legal contracts, and the vendor or developer may include
    almost any conditions. These conditions are often designed to protect
    the developer or vendor against liability, but they may also include
    additional terms that give the vendor some control over your computer.
    The following topics are often covered in EULAs:
    * Distribution - There are often limitations placed on the number of
    times you are allowed to install the software and restrictions
    about reproducing the software for distribution (see Avoiding
    Copyright Infringement for more information about copyright
    issues).
    * Warranty - Developers or vendors often include disclaimers that
    they are not liable for any problem that results from the software
    being used incorrectly. They may also protect themselves from
    liability for software flaws, software failure, or incompatibility
    with other programs on your computer.

    The following topics, while not standard, are examples of other
    conditions that have been included in EULAs. They present security
    implications that you should consider before accepting the agreement.
    * Monitoring - Agreeing to the EULA may give the vendor permission
    to monitor your computer activity and communicate the information
    back to the vendor or to another third party. Depending on what
    information is being collected, this type of monitoring could have
    both security and privacy implications.
    * Software installation - Some agreements allow the vendor to
    install additional software on your computer. This may include
    updated versions of the software program you installed (the
    determination of which version you are running may be a result of
    the monitoring described above). Vendors may also incorporate
    statements that allow them or other third parties to install
    additional software programs on your computer. This software may
    be unnecessary, may affect the functionality of other programs on
    your computer, and may introduce security risks.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Author: Mindi McDowell
    _________________________________________________________________

    This document can also be found at

    <http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST05-005.html>

    Copyright 2005 Carnegie Mellon University

    Terms of use

    <http://www.us-cert.gov/legal.html>



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  2. #32
    Member ams2d's Avatar
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4347325.stm

    If cars were sold under the same terms as software, the chances are we would all be walking to work.

    This is because almost every computer program is installed on condition that you accept onerous terms that you would reject if they were applied to anything else.

    For instance, if your car was sold to you under similar terms you would not be able to talk about its poor mileage down the pub with your mates, and would have to get the permission of the car maker every time you changed radio station or another member of your family drove it.

    And don't even think about putting car seats in the back for your kids or adding a roof rack - if you don't want to void the warranty that is.
    But, he said, many software firms use the Eula to shield themselves from any responsibility for their creations; try to limit well-established consumer rights or try to impose onerous conditions on the use of the program.
    Wise men talk because they have something to say;
    fools, because they have to say something.
    Plato

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