Patchou updates his petition....
How much credit can we claim for the changes? I'll leave that to you to decide... read on:
Patchou has updated his (now closed) petition, as originally discussed here:
Instead of saying “damaging thousands of computers every month” (which I criticised), he now says “damaging an important number of computers every day”. Well, at least we can assume he is still listening
Unfortunately, Patchou's efforts don't change the fact that those who signed before the change were signing something they could not possibly have knowledge of. And, to be honest, the change does not make any difference. Patchou is still referring to “solid evidence” that new users simply cannot have knowledge of - nor can the statement apply to those directed to the petition by auto update unless they happen to be forum regulars (note: forum stats available here: http://www.msghelp.net/statistics.php) and even then, we're looking at a real tangled debate about what 'important number' actually refers to ... 1? 2? 10? 100? 1,000? - the petition was misconceived right from the start - at the very least, I wish he'd sought advice when composing his petition page - there are some things that you simply don't do when creating a petition, and the number one rule is don't make declarations of fact in a petition that you are NOT in a position to prove applies to every single person that signs your petition. Nor do you make declarations of fact that may not be true for any person signing a petition. Patchou's biggest mistake was making a declaration of fact - a declaration of fact (one example being the alleged solid evidence) that simply does not apply to many, if not virtually all, who signed the petition.
nearly 260,000 only 401,683 signatures out of 7,000,000+ (Patchou's figure) apparently active users. Still a very low strike rate, especially considering the fact that every person installing or updating MP was directed to the petition page, being roughly one signature for every 17.427 users. It will be interesting to see what the final count is.
Patchou says he will remove the “Donald Ducks” - Patchou... don't forget Abraham Lincoln and Wil E Coyote (http://msmvps.com/spywaresucks/archive/2005/08/19/63394.aspx)
An (apparently 12 year old) poster to the forums, forum handle "Expert" admitted to signing the petition more than once:
Sure, Patchou said he would remove that duplicate, but lets be honest, how many others have signed more than once? And how will Patchou weed out all those duplicates out without recording, and cross matching, IP addresses and checking the legitimacy of, and ensuring permission to use was granted by the owner of, every email address used? How many kids (many of Messenger Plus!'s users are kids), are signing using their parents' email addresses? Their friends? Fake addresses? Seriously, this petition is so misconceived, and completely unnecessary. Everybody else has to use the correct reporting channels to deal with problems - so should Patchou.
We still cannot trust Patchou's petition, or its signature count, and Patchou is still fighting a losing battle regarding his sponsor. Check out this list of detectors:
http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/pest/pest.aspx?id=453076024 (Computer Associates)
http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/virusencyclo/default5.asp?VName=TROJ_SWIZZOR.AG (Trend Micro)