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Did Anti-Spyware Vendors Cave In To Pressure From Spyware Authors?

Computer Associates and the vendor that makes the anti-spyware package Ad-Aware are coming under fire from anti-spyware advocates, who say the vendors have quietly, and wrongly, delisted WhenU from their database of spyware.

"People are really, really angry. They feel like they've been stabbed in the back, because Lavasoft [the company that makes Ad-Aware] slipped this significant change in and didn't tell them," said anti-spyware advocate Eric Howes, a regular contributor to Spyware Warrior.

CA says it did inform users that it was removing WhenU software from its spyware database, on a page on the site on which it lists updates to the program. But Howes says if that's true, he was unable to find the page after extensive searching on the site.

CA says the removal is temporary, done because WhenU appealed its inclusion in the CA database. CA is reviewing hte software. When CA makes its decision on the appeal, the WhenU software will either be removed permanently, or re-instated to its database of spyware.

Until Feb. 5, WhenU was included in the LavaSoft database of spyware. The package was de-listed, and LavaSoft didn't notify its users, nor was the removal discovered until Feb. 13, three days ago, Howes said.

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