Network Associates in censorship row....

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Paul Wilders, Mar 7, 2002.

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  1. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    Antivirus firm slammed for gagging reviewers

    Antivirus company Network Associates, currently at the centre of a US court battle, has been slammed by industry peers for its "draconian" measures and censorship.
    The software vendor is in court after it tried to use the small print in its software licences to stop a US computer magazine printing a damning review of its product.

    In its defence, Network Associates said it was concerned that journalists would review outdated versions of the software, or conduct inaccurate benchmark tests.

    But the action has been a press relations own goal, and rival antivirus companies are having a field day at Network Associates' expense.

    Graham Cluely, senior technology consultant at Sophos, rushed to point out that reviewers could say what they liked about its products, and Symantec's UK spokesman Richard Saunders said that his company was completely opposed to restricting editorial reviews.

    Trend Micro explained that it would prefer to recommend that a journalist followed certain procedures, rather than enforce a review procedure.

    "It is in our interest to help journalists through the process," said a Trend Micro spokesman. "We do have language on our site that requires journalists to get our approval to do product reviews."

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    source: www.vnunet.com/News/1129754
     
  2. Woody

    Woody Guest

    Fair and accurate reporting as well as testing is a thing of the past. It is all about rice bowls and associations.
    A company should be consulted  and asked for a submiral of their latest product for testing. If they refuse and the testing facility still evaluate the product, that should be stated in the test results along with:
    1. the version number of the product.
    2. the version or date of the update to that products data base of virus/trojans to the user.

    Then most important the Date the test was actually conducted.

    I do not think that many leave out this informantion on purpose. But with it a consumer and the watchdogs will have enough information to evaluate the findings and determine if they are in fact FAIR.

    Do that and everyone can stay out of court and get on with the music.

    I am posting this not to find fault with either side. But I am no dummy. I am tired of this argument that all products should be tested "out of the box" when it is obvious since it is software it must be set up for the different OS out there as well as ANY instructions the developer gives to the buyer in that process.

    The tester should also state which platform and test bed they are using.

    Everyone in testing seems to claim that their test criteria is fair, duplicating that which the average user is going to encounter in the wild. That is the biggest joke of all...It is being used to prove that one product over the other is not keeping up with the "race" to detect the lastest group of attacks.

    Then some reporter ,independento_O, decides to write an article based upon HIS evaluation of the testing.

    That last step is my biggest problem that I see with this process. Those article are then posted or present on sites all over the internet without dates and in many cases without references.

    They have a LIFE of their own and linger there on sites which are never updated or in an archive that people use to prove a product is no good.

    Most of the time that ends up as an Urban Legend that never goes away.

    That is enough from me...now it's is your turn :D
     
  3. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Testing out-of-the-box is an absolute requirement, since that's how the users receive it.  Freedom of speech dictates that anyone can make fair comment without let or hindrance.

    If the subsequent commentary is biased, inaccurate, or otherwise unrepresentative, then there is legal recourse under libel or defamation, and possibly other offences.

    Let it remain so.

    (Cost of the above:  $0.02)
     
  4. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    Woody,

    Although you might have some points here, in essence this is the way to go IMHO:

    regards.

    paul  
     
  5. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    There is also te question of whether or not the terms of this restrictive contract are valid in law.  In the UK a contract can be made invalid if it is not "fair and equitable" - an "Unfair Contract" is not recognised.

    It is wholly unreasonable, under Consumer Protection laws, to expect a purchaser to be bound (below legally minimum warranties and beyond the fitness of the purchased article for the purpose for which it is intended) by whatever crap the manufacturer scrawls on side of the box.

    I will be interested to read the judge's summary.
     
  6. UNICRON

    UNICRON Technical Expert

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    with these products used internationally, this decision will solve the question for one country. If they can't sue you in the states, perhaps they can in canada? Germany? Australia?

    I think this is stupid. I will never buy one of their products EVER after this. This is WAY more damaging than ANY review could be.
     
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