Consumer group sues Sony


Lawsuits over Sony-BMG Entertainment's rootkit technology on CD-Roms are piling up.

Online advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which was joined by two leading national class action law firms, filed a lawsuit against Sony on Monday.

The suit was filed within hours of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's suit against the company, who claimed Sony deceived customers and violated the state's recently passed anti-spyware statutes.

EEF claims that Sony included spyware-like technology, whether XCP made by British First4Internet or MediaMax by Phoenix-based SunnComm, was included on more than 24 million music CDs.

The organization said this week that Sony still needs to do more to repair damage caused by the XCP application and also address MediaMax.

"Sony-BMG is to be commended for its acknowledgement of the serious security problems caused by its XCP software, but it needs to go further to regain the public's trust," said Corynne McSherry, EFF staff attorney. "It is unconscionable for Sony-BMG to refuse to respond to the privacy and other problems created by the over 20 million CDs containing the SunnComm software."

A weblog-fueled firestorm erupted after Windows system expert Mark Russinovich exposed the use of the XCP application last month. Since then, Sony has had to fend off reports of trojan viruses taking advantage of the cloaking technology and charges that its uninstall program for the application exposed PCs to hijacking.

Sony, in a statement issued last Friday on its website, said it regretting the inclusion of XCP technology on its products.

"We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers and we are committed to making this situation right. It is important to note that the issues regarding these discs exist only when they are played on computers, not on conventional, non-computer-based CD and/or DVD players," the statement read.

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