Leave my computer alone.

Pop up ads are out of control. The other day my son used one of my laptops for the first time since it had been repaired and Windows XP installed. Upon going to a site using Internet Explorer, the page preceeded to open 64 pop up ads. When he tried to go to a new page he could not, and he had to reboot the computer. He then went to Google to download the Google Toolbar with pop up blocker. He thought he had, but instead an adware/spyware toolbar called 180 Solutions installed itself. It looked a lot like the Google Toolbar, and even had a pop up blocker, though it didn’t block anything.

I immediately ran Lavasoft Adaware, and 195 pieces of adware, spyware, and malware. I had to clean the PC separately for each user in XP. Then when I logged in, a window popped up saying that someone had uninstalled 180 Solutions without my knowledge, and presented very poorly worded choices, the default being to reinstall it. I selected the Uninstall option. When it was complete it presented the same dialog box with the same choices. I actually had to manually kill a process called ZIB, and remove it from the registry manually. The cost to me was hours of my time lost because of their stupidity.

In my opinion, government should spend a lot less time worrying about copyright and record company profits, and instead concentrate on how the Justice Department can prosecute companies like 180 Solutions that assume the my computer is theirs to do with as they please. At no time was I asked if I wanted to install anything. Doesn’t this in some way constitute criminal trespass? It certainly should. From my point of view that really is theft.