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Yahoo China Taken To Court For Imparting Malware

A Chinese alliance found Yahoo to remit malware and sued it. In a Chinese court the newly formed alliance, "Anti-Hooligan Software Federation" in Beijing has accused "Yahoo China" after Zhongsou.com, another accuser.

Yahoo has been accused because it is installing software called "Yahoo Assistant", which is hard to remove. The software is malware because it shows on the Internet Explorer undesirable pop-ups displaying irrelevant information.

"Hooligan Software" comprises of adware, spyware and other forms of malware like pornographic substance. These can raise unwanted pop-ups that may infect the computers with viruses or lead to identity thefts.

The alliance has demanded $11 as 'symbolic compensation' against Yahoo China. Various IT professionals and netizens in China have classified hooligan software a malware. Leader of the alliance, Mr. Dong Haiping said that their appeal is fundamentally based on property rights in 'Civil Law' and the 'Consumer's Interest Protection Law'. The alliance believes it will win the case because it has enough proof for it.

On the other hand Yahoo China is preparing evidence to fight their defense. In support of this Gong Meng, company representative said that "Yahoo Assistant" has been asking for users' permission before installing the software since September last year claiming therefore that classifying the tool as 'hooligan software' does not carry weight. It is alleged that Yahoo had generated $25 million from the software before June 2005.

Firms whose names and websites appear in the process of a related search have to deposit money. Dong has confirmed the alliance's plan to sue 20 more firms including websites ebay.com and baidu.com when enough evidence gets collected.

About rumors of help or pressure from rival firms of the alliance, Dong has denied them. He said being a voluntary alliance the federation does not have any commercial relations with IT companies. This campaign was the first of its kind initiated by IT professionals and netizens.

Huang Jinshen, a lawyer with the federation said that the country required emboldening legislation in this area and improving protection of the netizens' interests. The problems in such cases are due to improper legislation that experts have held against malware.

Related article: Yahoo Gets “Yam”med by a Worm

» SPAMfighter News - 9/23/2006

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