Free registration required to read the story. “The Federal Trade Commission formally announced yesterday its first assault against spyware – bits of computer code that surreptitiously install themselves on the computers of Internet users to track their activities, push them to Web sites, barrage them with advertisements, and otherwise wreak havoc with their machines.
The commission filed a lawsuit in a federal court in New Hampshire last week against Sanford Wallace, the owner of Seismic Entertainment Productions and Smartbot.net, contending that Mr. Wallace and his companies had violated federal law, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.”
“This may be our first case,” said Lydia Parnes, the acting director of the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, at a news conference in Washington yesterday. “But it won’t be our last.” “