Internet Law

Microsoft Files 'Malvertising' Case Against Unknown Individuals

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Microsoft filed suit in Washington state court yesterday, in an effort to unmask the individuals behind five companies that allegedly have been distributing “malvertising” to users of its personal computers and services.

The company has filed suit in order to enlist the court system’s help in identifying, through subpoenas on the Internet service providers through which the defendants allegedly distribute malicious software and promote scams, who they are, reports the Bits blog of the New York Times.

“This work is vitally important because online advertising helps keep the Internet up and running,” says Microsoft associate general counsel Tim Cranton in a blog post today announcing the “John Doe” litigation. “It’s the fuel that drives search technologies. It pays for free online services like Windows Live, Facebook, Yahoo and MSN. Fraud and malicious abuse of online ad platforms are therefore a serious threat to the industry and for all consumers and businesses that rely on these free services.”

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