Should it be illegal to review or criticize Internet security software?

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We think not. Reviewers should be supported not threatened. Reviews are the best way for most consumers to find Internet security software that is effective.

Part of the definition of a free market economy is perfect information. Given that's impossible, the Home PC Firewall Guide provides links to independent third party reviews of Internet security software and hardware to help end users make informed decisions.

“In Crummy UCITA Legislation is Back”, John Dvorak, PC Magazine, February 17, 2003 states that "...Only two states have, stupidly, passed this law—Maryland and Virginia—and the law they passed incorporated earlier wacky provisos that could make it illegal to review or criticize software! This, to me, is incredible..."

The companies that back this proposed legislation appear to be the same ones that lobbied against a stronger “National Strategy To Protect Cyberspace” that President Bush approved February 14, 2003. History is repeating itself. Powerful companies who wrap themselves up in the ideal of market economics do not support a free market. We have proposed a remedy. On February 15, 2003, we sent the following proposal to President Bush and our US Senators:

“As a first step to implement the new National Strategy To Protect Cyberspace the federal government should consider giving an annual grant to a respected organization like the Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. (Consumer Reports). The Union should use the funds to contract with people and/or organizations with a security product review track record like Scot Finnie, Sean Boran, PC Labs, and/or PC World to test, evaluate, review and certify software and hardware Internet security products intended for home, telecommuter and SOHO end users including personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-Trojan, anti-spyware, and privacy software as well as low-cost wired and wireless routers with firewall features. The results should be published online and printed on paper placemats to be used at fast food vendors like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's during next year's national consumer protection week. Security vendors should be notified of any product problems and given an opportunity to fix them before publication. Other security organizations like, Checkmark,, ICSA Labs, and Virus Bulletin should also be involved in the process. This proposal would be low cost and highly effective for consumers without requiring any new regulations.”

If you support this proposal, please contact the President, your US Senators and members of Congress to let them know. If you know a foundation that might consider funding this proposal, please contact them.

About The Home PC Firewall Guide has been visited by over one million people since it went online in May 2000.

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