Feeds

NebuAd looks to 'spyware' firm for recruits

'Typical of the Valley'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

In Silicon Valley, the world's tech capital, the job market is tight, with sales people and engineers in short supply. So what's an ambitious startup like NebuAd to do?

One option: Recruit some folk from the nearby ad outfit that's fallen on hard times. After all, NebuAd's in the ad business too. Much like Phorm, it uses deep packet inspection to track the behavior of net surfers from inside third-party ISPs.

According to public profiles posted to the social networking sites LinkedIn and LinkSV, NebuAd shares at least five high-ranking employees with Gator Corporation, the company that famously changed its name to Claria in October 2003 in an apparent attempt to shake-off its reputation as a spyware distributor.

These employees are: Scott Tavenner, Vice President of Business Development; Chuck Gilbert, Senior Product Manager; Mike Miller, Vice President of Ad Sales; Amy Auranicky, Director of Advertising Sales; and Jeanne Houwelingis, Vice President of Advertising Services.

Like Claria, NebuAd is based in Redwood City, California, and the company registered its domain in June 2006, just as Claria was leaving the adware business.

But NebuAd says that any ties to Claria are tenuous. "NebuAd and Claria are separate companies with different investors and management and have never been associated with each other," reads a statement from NebuAd.

"NebuAd was founded in 2006 by noted experts in the anti-virus, cyber security, and online marketing and analytics industry with a fundamental understanding and focus on consumer privacy and protection. NebuAd’s co-founders come from E.piphany, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Scopus, and Symantec. Some former Claria employees work at NebuAd, but this is typical in the Valley."

Gator re-made

In 1998, Gator introduced an eponymous desktop software package that tracks the behavior of web surfers as a means of targeting display ads, and it was often bundled with free downloads such as the P2P-sharing app Kazaa. When the company renamed itself, it also renamed its software: Gator became Gain.

Multiple anti-spyware tools identify and remove Gator/GAIN. Symantec, for instance, advocates removal. But Gator Corp./Claria Corp. had always maintained it does not distribute spyware. In 2003, it sued PC Pitstop for libel went the desktop health software maker used the spyware tag to describe Gator.

NebuAd has tested its more sophisticated behavioral ad service on several American ISPs, including Charter, WOW!, Knology, and Embarq. When Charter announced its partnership with the company, two US Congressmen fired a letter at the ISP, asking that test be put on hold.

"We respectfully request that you do not move forward on Charter Communications' proposed venture with NebuAd until we have an opportunity to discuss with you issues raised by this proposed venture," wrote Ed Markey, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and Joe Barton, ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Generally, ISP subscribers can opt-out of NebuAd's service. But Markey and Barton argue that unless the service is opt-in only, it may violate US law. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.