McKenna settles with software seller

Legal News Line Nov. 30, 2006, 8:34am

SEATTLE -- Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced a settlement in a long-running dispute with New York-based High Falls Media and Roc Telecommunications. McKenna's office alleged the companies deceptively promoted an anti-spyware program called SpyWare Slayer on its website, which offered "free" anti-SpyWare scans. Consumer who tried to close out of the website were warned of a "99% chance" their computer was infected and those who chose the scan had the program downloaded onto their computer. According to the McKenna's office, SpyWare Slayer's "free scan" almost always detected users' computers to be at "extreme risk." McKenna pointed out that it is illegal under Washington's Computer Spyware Act "to induce customers to download software under the guise that the program is needed to protect themselves and their computers." Three associates of the two companies agreed to pay $30,000 in legal fees and $300,000 in civil penalties, though only $25,000 will be assessed if the companies comply with settlement terms.

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