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Firms Form Anti-Spyware Consortium

A consortium of academics, consumer advocates and technology firms have banded together to fight spyware, adware and any other software that could be deemed malicious, launching an informative Web site that highlights the questionable acts of certain software makers. Called The Stop Badware Coalition, the group aims to keep users from unwittingly downloading programs that serve pop-ups, spread viruses, or steal personal information. Harvard University's Berkman Center, the Oxford Internet Institute, and Consumer Reports are the principal partners of the initiative, which has also received funding from Google, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems. The Web site, www.stopbadware.org, will be the focus of the group's effort, where it will provide guidelines that define "badware." It is estimated that 60 million Americans have some form of malicious software installed on their computers.

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