Keystroke-Logging App Supplier Challenges Anti-Spyware Vendor

It is reflective of a growing animosity between anti-spyware vendors and companies that believe their applications are being unfairly listed as spyware.
Making matters worst, the security industry has not agreed on a definition of spyware, so vendors have created their own, which can vary widely, according to Forrester Research. Some vendors treat any application installed without clearly notifying computer users as a threat, while others look at the software itself, listing only those malicious applications as spyware.

Nevertheless, Eckelberry objects to RetroCoder's "bastardization" of copyright law and the end user licensing agreement, which says users must abide by RetroCoder's interpretation of the law.

"They don't have a leg to stand on," Eckelberry said. "You can't use copyright law to restrict someone from doing research on your software, and you can't use the EULA to restrict free speech in this manner."

Eckelberry points out that Sunbelt's product doesn't list RetroCoder's SpyMon as spyware, but only notifies computer users that their machines contain a commercial keystroke logger. By default, the anti-spyware does not recommend taking any action.

Nevertheless, that may be enough for some people to remove the RetroCoder software from their computers. The company advertises the product as useful for tracking what children and workers are doing on the Internet, as well as spouses suspected of cheating.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing