Keyloggers Don’t Hurt People, People Do

So, I just saw this article posted last week by Benjamin Googins over at Computer Associates’ Security Advisor Blog.  He posted the article before the Court lifted the ban on RemoteSpy, but he seemed to understand what was happening:

“[T]his restraining order is only temporary and limited to one particular piece of software — the RemoteSpy keylogger.  I would guess CyberSpy is working with their lawyers to launch an appeal.”

You bet we did.  And the ban was lifted.

It’s funny, but Mr. Googins made an argument very similar to the one we made at our hearing:

“Even if this restraining order sticks and is made permanent, there is a plethora of other keyloggers available on the market, many for free.”

Exactly.  If the FTC really wanted to make some changes in the market, why not work with the whole industry or open the subject up for debate?  Why go after only one maker of remote computer monitoring software?

Finally, Mr. Googins makes a great point:

“The line between good and bad software is a messy one and strict criteria need to be published and publicly available.  Most of all, these criteria need to be evenly applied.  … I believe that if the FTC evenly applies the criteria they state as reasons for restraining the sale of RemoteSpy, hundreds, possibly thousands of other readily available keyloggers will need to be targeted and restrained from sale and distribution.”

And it seems like that’s the problem in a nutshell.  The approach taken by the FTC would render all remote computer monitoring software illegal because they don’t really distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses of the software.  But so many of our customers have come forward to explain how pivotal our software is to their families and businesses.  Maybe the FTC will heed their voices?

One Response to “Keyloggers Don’t Hurt People, People Do”

  1. Benjamin Googins Says:

    Hi, just one correction, my last name is Googins, not Goggins — common error. I think the FTC is in a bit of a quandary on how to tackle this issue — scope, goals, strategy. I will probably do a follow up soon on the latest in this case.