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CDT to escalate spyware battle

The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based public advocacy group, is further escalating its fight against spyware and adware. The group on Monday plans to file two complaints with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against multiple spyware and adware purveyors, a source familiar with the CDT's plan said Friday.

The source described the complaints as "extensive" and said among other things, they allege the targets used a number of deceptive and unfair trade practices.

The CDT has scheduled a telephone news conference for Monday. A representative reached late Friday declined to comment on the matter ahead of that event.

The CDT has battled spyware, adware and other online pests before. In 2004, the FTC sued Seismic Entertainment and a former self-styled "Spam King," Sanford Wallace, after a complaint by the CDT. That case was considered the first major suit by the FTC in the area of spyware, the CDT has said.

The CDT also runs the Anti-Spyware Coalition, a group made up of makers of anti-spyware software and supported by consumer watchdog groups. The Anti-Spyware Coalition is not involved in the FTC complaints, the source said.

It is unknown which companies the CDT will include in its complaints to the FTC on Monday. However, the group has in the past dissed the activities of Direct Revenue, 180Solutions and Claria, as well as other makers of advertising software and spyware.