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Washington's Attorney General Fights Spyware

In one of the first anti-spyware lawsuits in the country, Washington's State Attorney General Rob McKenna is suing a New York company as well as individuals in New York, New Hampshire, Oregon and India on charges that they induced consumers to download software that weakened their computers' security. White Plains, NY-based Secure Computer LLC, which reportedly made more than $100,000 in the last year and a half selling "software cleaner" software, is the lead defendant in the lawsuit. The company is being sued because it used allegedly misleading e-mails and pop-ups to advertise its product. State and federal officials are trying to stop the spread of spyware, an unwanted program that sneaks onto users' computers and uses their surfing information to deliver pop-up ads while draining computer processing power in gathering that information. The others named in the lawsuit are Secure Computer's associates, who sent out e-mails and pop-ups on behalf of the company in exchange for a 75 percent commission from each software sale.

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