StopBadware, the anti-malware effort run out of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, is spinning off to become a separate nonprofit with funding from Google, PayPal, and Mozilla, the organization was set to announce on Monday.
StopBadware was launched four years ago to help companies keep spyware, viruses, adware, and other malware off their sites. The project collects and analyzes data from Web sites and advocates for safer practices.
The group's "badware alerts," expose applications that violate its badware guidelines and have AOL, Real Networks, Sears, and others to change their practices regarding customer choice. StopBadware also collaborates with Google in warning users about Web sites that can install malware on visitors' computers.
"StopBadware has grown in just a few years from the seed of an idea into an internationally recognized force in the fight against harmful software," Urs Gasser, executive director of the Berkman Center, said in a statement. "We are proud that, by developing a unique mission and becoming independent, StopBadware now follows in the footsteps of previous ventures like Creative Commons and Global Voices that have their roots here at the Berkman Center."
Serving on the board of directors of StopBadware will be Harvard Law professor John Palfrey; PayPal Chief Information Security Officer Michael Barrett; Vint Cerf, Google Chief Internet Evangelist; Esther Dyson, an angel investor for startups; Mozilla Chief Evangelist Mike Shaver; Ari Schwartz, chief operating officer at the Center for Democracy & Technology; and StopBadware Executive Eirector Maxim Weinstein.
StopBadware did not disclose how much funding it was receiving from the investors.