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CyberDefender Corp, MyCleanPC, DoubleMySpeed and Catanese and Wells Never Heard of the 1st Amendment


Allen Harkleroad

A week or two ago I (Allen Harkleroad) expressed my personal opinion of MyCleanPC and DoubleMySpeed, which by the way are owned by the CyberDefender Corporation.

While in the past legal threats and legal intimidation may have served CyberDefender well in regards to stifling consumers and individuals public opinions. However, such threats do not work on me as everyone involved will soon find out. I will speak and/or publish my opinions of businesses as I see fit without fear of prosecution or persecution.

CyberDefender Corporation and the law firm that represents them (Catanese & Wells of Westlake Village, California) must have never heard of a US Citizens 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights. I intend to educate all of the involved parties as to what the first amendment is and what it covers.

First of all, feel free to read my opinion pieces by following the links below (hint they are the same article posted on various websites I and my company owns). Which by the way, are read by an estimated 450,000 unique visitors each month. I included the article as well at the end of this item.

Beware of MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com – Same Scam, Same Company
Statesboro.biz

Beware of MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com – Same Scam, Same Company
DesignerToday.com

NOT FUNNY PSA: Beware of MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com – Same Scam, Same Company Smarterotti

NOT FUNNY PSA: Beware of MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com – Same Scam, Same Company 
FunMeme.com

In a nutshell the articles in question are what I found and believe is a scam and of course my own opinion of the websites I have seen advertised on television and from what I have read by searching for online on “MyCleanPC Complaints”, “DoubleMySpeed Complaints” and “CyberDefender Corporation Complaints”. My personal 1st amendment protected opinion.

In any case today March 29th, 2010 I receive a letter from Catanese & Wells of Westlake Village California demanding that I and my company remove all “potentially defamatory” articles that have been published, the letter below is what I received.

Letter-March242010

What CyberDefender Corporation, Catanese & Wells, et al. are about to realize is that I take my first amendment rights very seriously and  I vigorously defend my legal rights. I would like to remin dMr Douglas M. Hume and the other attorneys of Catanese & Wells that personal jurisdiction for myself and my company (a Georgia Corporation) is the State of Georgia. So in the off chance that you choose to file a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) or other litigation you must file any complaints in  Bulloch County Georgia State Court or US District Court, Southern District of Georgia (Statesboro Georgia). I wonder if Mr. T. Randolph Catanese and Mr Douglas R. Hume are even permitted to practice law in the state of Georgia.? According to the Georgia Bar Association neither are listed as attorney’s that can practice law in my state.

In the mean time I will be forwarding CyberDefender’s legal threat to my contacts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, my contacts at Public Citizen, and various news and consumer news reporting outlets for consideration.

I have often found that companies that threaten individuals in an attempt to stifle or censor a persons public opinion are often hiding something that they hope and pray never sees the light of day. I can assure CyberDefender, Catanese & Wells, et al. that I, if the letter that was sent to me isn’t retracted, that I will ensure to provide the most publicity possible over the issue at hand, namely using legal threats to censor my personal opinion.

The articles in question that I wrote and were published by company will remain online and publically available regardless of the outcome.

It might be prudent that CyberDefender and Catanese & Wells do a bit of research on “Allen Harkleroad” (Google Search) and perhaps “Allen Harkleroad Sucks.com” before they consider filing a frvilous and meritless legal action. What CyberDefender and the law firm that represents them is that I have no problem publically voicing my opinions. In fact I wrote the book on how to deal with companies and legal threats (hint it is called “The Care and Feeding of a Sucks.com ISBN-13: 978-0-9789997-1-1).

So in a nutshell, if CyberDenfender and their attorneys do not retract the letter sent me, then it is “on like Donky Kong”, as the old saying goes.

 

--- The original Article(s) I wrote ---

Beware of MyCleanPC.com and DoubleMySpeed.com – Same Scam, Same Company

As a pro-consumer advocate I do a lot of research. For a good while I have seen TV advertising and listened to radio advertising promotion DoubleMySpeed and MyCleanPC Ad nauseam. So I decided to do a bit of research. The most recent commercial is the MyCleanPC TV ads, so I began looking at who owns it.

My initial WHOIS query brought up a Domains By Proxy registration as shown below.

MyCleanPc-Com-HiddenRegistration

Of course private registrations are easily found out by doing a couple of simple IP and DNS look ups. The domain MyCleanPC.com resolves to a IP address of: 208.118.60.20.

That IP is owned by CyberDefender Corporation, which also owns DoubleMySpeed.com and other similar domains.

CYberDefender-MyCleanPC-Com-IP

I am 100% skeptical of any advertisement that claims to be able to fix a computer online, and from the consumer complaints I have read online, in the case of DoubleMySpeed and MyCleanPC, it appears that my misgivings were completely warranted. Check out the DoubleMySpeed complaints, MyCleanPC complaints and the CyberDefender Corporation complaints.

It seems now CyberDefender is trying to hide who owns the domains they operate, however IP address/DNS lookups don’t lie.

What amazes me the most is that with the huge number of complaints, that the Federal Trade Commission hasn’t investigated CyberDefender corporation.

Any consumer that has been taken in with their bait and switch tactics should file a FTC complaint, and hopefully the Federal Trade Commission will one day take CyberDefender Corporation to task for harming consumers.

Like I said, same old scam, same old company.
 
 

UPDATE April 3, 2010 – To clarify. [NOTE: I Videotaped both processes outlined below]. I setup a computer and installed Windows 7 and used Windows Update to patch the machine. I installed basic software like anti virus software and the like. Mind you this computer had only been running a new operating system for about 24 hours. I then proceed to go to MyCleanPC and installed their CyberDefender (same software on both MyCleanPC and DoubleMySpeed). The scan proceed and finished. The scan claimed that nearly 1,000 errors were found on this freshly setup machine. I click the “fix” button on the scanner software and it took me to a website where I could purchase (i.e. activate) the software. The page had other software as well pre-checked for purchase to the tune of $89.00 and change. Since I wasn’t going to buy the software I tried to close the page that the scanner sent me to, the page threw a pop-up window that wouldn’t let me close the window, the pop-up had only an “Okay” button to click (to talk to a sale rep). I was pretty much trapped and my only alternative was to click “OK” and listen to a high pressure sales pitch. Well, not quite, I opened the Windows Task Manager and killed the web browser process, which of course killed the page I couldn’t escape from.

I then proceed to installed the MyCleanPC software on a fully patched Windows XP machine that I rarely used just to see what happen. Other than installing software I use nothing else had been installed and no software had been uninstalled on the machine. It does have anti virus software on it. The CyberDefender software found over “3,000” errors on a machine that runs perfectly fine, never had software uninstalled and rarely was on the Internet. When I clicked the “Fix / Activate” button in the CyberDefender software I was again presented with the up-sell page with $89.00+ check out page, when I tried to close the Window the web page attempted to trap me again. I killed the process in task manager to escape.

When uninstalling the MyCleanPC / DoubleMySpeed software, I was again presented with a confusing uninstaller that tried it’s best to keep me from uninstalling. After Uninstalling I had to go trough both computers registries to clean up the “CyberDefender” left-overs in the registry.

I video-taped the entire process on both machines including the uninstall weirdness.

The MyCLeanPC and DoubleMySpeed TV commercials (I videotaped them as well for future reference) claims that the CyberDefender software also cleans email viruses and other nasties. It appeared to me when running both scans on both computers that the software only scanned the registry and nothing else at all. Seems a bit deceptive to me to make claims that the software doesn’t actually do.

The entire process from start to finish smells of scam to me and I stand by my opinion that it is a scam.

 
 

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