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Anti-Malware Company Wins 'Spyware' Court Case

A U.S. District Court ruled against an online media company that wanted to force Kaspersky Lab to stop classifying its adware as "spyware."

Zango, an online media company, came up short in its attempt to force an anti-virus company to reclassify its "spyware" tag for the company's adware.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled in favor of Kaspersky Lab, granting the security company immunity from liability in a suit filed by Zango. According to Kaspersky, Zango sued them to force the company to reclassify Zango's programs as "non-threatening" and to prevent Kaspersky's security software from blocking Zango's programs.

"Kaspersky Lab's mission is, and has always been, to make the Internet a safer place for all," said Steve Orenberg, president of Kaspersky Lab, USA, in a statement. "We are thrilled with the outcome of this case because it supports the key message of the information security industry -- consumer protection comes first."

The judge threw out Zango's lawsuit on the grounds that Kaspersky was immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act, part of which states that a provider or user of an interactive computer service shall not be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to material that the provider or user considers to be "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable."

Kaspersky noted that the ruling protects the consumer's right to determine what information and software is allowed on their computer, and gives anti-malware vendors the right to identify and label software programs that may be potentially unwanted and harmful to a user's computer as they see fit.

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