I will have to ask the managers what the position of the company is, regarding these questions, because they are political, legal and ethical. I will get back with an official answer, as soon as I have one.
My personal reply is: Your security suite protects your computer. What happens to your data beyond your computer (what you send or request from the internet) is in the hands of your Internet Service provider, your E-mail provider, the sites you access and ultimately your own.Andreea-Luciana Ostache Senior Support Technician EN firstname.lastname@example.org www.bullguard.com
As a rule of thumb, no antivirus company should condone malware development, period. Arguably, police institutions may need to monitor certain suspect individuals, with the proper warrants, but that's not and should never be an excuse to "proactively monitor everyone" and as such, antivirus companies should under no circumstances exclude "certain types" of backdoors or similar malware in their products. Our detection routines (signatures, behavioral, heuristics, etc) are deployed to all our customers and not detecting a specific type of malware would mean putting _all_ our users at risk, not just someone a specific government has on their watch list. We do not and will not exclude any form of malware from our detection list.
Incidentally, this topic was the opening keynote with Andrew Lee as speaker at this year's Virus Bulletin conference in Berlin and the recording was just published on youtube. You may find it interesting : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F1_8Kz2_0Q
Hope this answered your question. if not, don't hesitate to push that reply button ;)
Thank you for the answer. It is good to hear your statement and your position helps to build even more trust in your product. I wish that all companies would adopt your policy but I am afraid that many in my country (US) have cooperated too much with the government and gone far beyond what is necessary to help with specific criminal cases. So, it is especially nice to hear from you and a few other security companies that you would generally resist government requests for blanket exemptions to malware tracking. Thanks again.
Yes, I understand that but I choose to trust BullGuard and a few other security companies and I choose to spend my money with them for a variety of reasons. One small reason is because they indicate that they would resist efforts at forced non-detection of government malware.
With regard to not trusting, I definitely do not trust any government to respect my privacy. I think my odds are better with trusting companies in the business of making money by protecting me. That plus a layered computer defense might give me a sporting chance of maintaining some privacy and security on the Internet.
Hah! Who am I kidding. The only safe option for me is to unplug my computer and talk to my wife. I just don't see that happening.
Wait a sec ... Do you have specific reasons and examples for not trusting BullGuard or are you just generally saying that they could access and use anything they want on my computer?
Please note that BullGuard does not submit information about your computer automatically except for: - the email address (which is also the BullGuard username) - the IP from which the program connected to the update servers.
You can submit a quarantined file for analysis using the "Upload" button. Logs regarding your installed programs are sometimes requested by our Support Team in order to identify possible software conflicts; firewall logs are required when you have troubles connecting to a LAN device such as a printer, a XBOX/PS or NAS.
We can not access your computer without you initiating a remote assistance session and later on allowing access. The LogMeIn Rescue software does not leave an active process on your computer once the session is terminated. Moreover, you can permanently close the session at any point.
As a final remark, the Support Team does not have access to user's password or their backed up files.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Alex Balan (Head of Product Management), Andreea and me (Support Team) will gladly assist you.
I like the idea that you mentioned that the support team does not have access to user's passwords. Why is it that you don't give us the option to chose a different password if we want to lock down the settings in bullguard's software and you force us to use our accounts password? I would really like to know about that.
EDIT: Before you answer my question and you start assuring me that everything is fine, its obvious that this posses a security risk if our accounts ever gets hacked. This is not something that has never been done before by hackers. Big companies have been hacked before and got their customers accounts information and passwords stolen.