Utah judge freezes anti-spyware law

A Utah judge has granted an injunction to adware maker WhenU.com to temporarily halt the state's new anti-spyware law from going into effect.

New York-based WhenU, whose software is the subject of several lawsuits, filed a lawsuit in April to challenge the nation's first anti-spyware statute, called the Spyware Control Act, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. The suit, filed in the 3rd Judicial District Court in Salt Lake County, Utah, was filed shortly before the law was set to go into effect in May.

"This is an important decision for the entire online advertising industry," said Avi Naider, CEO of WhenU. "Spyware is a problem and we want to put an end to it. WhenU supports anti-spyware legislation at the federal level, but Utah's act unfortunately impairs legitimate online advertising as well."

Representatives for the state were not immediately available for comment.

Utah is the first state to pass a law regulating spyware and other advertising software. "Spyware" and "adware" are rarely clearly defined, but the terms typically refer to software that tracks computer users' actions online or uses a computer's resources to pop up advertisements or other messages.

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News source: CNet

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