Most people I know who own Windows PCs have suffered the unfortunate affliction of spyware overload. After using Kazaa for, ooh, 5 minutes their PC becomes clogged with privacy-invading, pop-up-spawning background processes whose most insidious function is to send information about your browsing habits to companies like Claria (formerly Gator).
Now it appears (thanks to Salon.com) that the Chief Privacy Officer (D. Reed Freeman) of Claria, the company that spearheaded the modern spyware industry, has been appointed to the US Homeland Security “Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee”, whose function is ostensibly to protect US citizens’ privacy.
Here’s an example of the kind of company Claria is: when I try to access their site from my work (a major bank), it is blocked by our proxy server with the following message:
Access denied by WebWasher DynaBLocator content category. The requested URL belongs to the following category: Computer Crime.
Anyone else worried about the future of democracy?