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Anti-spyware group collapses

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An anti-spyware consortium has collapsed weeks after its decision to admit 180solutions, the controversial adware firm to its ranks. The final demise of the Consortium of Anti-Spyware Technology vendors (Coast) this week follows the exit of founding members CA, Alluria and Webroot in February. Each cited a lack of faith in Coast's ability to develop effective anti-spyware standards.

180solutions, which describes itself as a provider of search marketing solutions, was allowed to join as a developer member of Coast, despite controversy over its permission-based search assistant applications. CA (here) and other vendors such as McAfee (here) describe 180solutions' software as adware. 180solutions said that the adware accusation, which it contests, is in any case outdated after it modified its software and agreed to sign up to Coast's code of conduct.

Coast's stance over 180solutions has failed to placate internet critics and acted as a lightning rod for discontent over the direction the organisation is taking more generally. The exit of CA et al in February left Coast with too few members to remain viable, so its decision to cease operations and close its website on 15 April comes as no great surprise. ®

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