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McAfee
Hall Of Shame Member
Added August 31, 2008


Why is this man smiling? Could it be because he's getting big bucks to do a job a designated moron could do? Could it be because he's clueless about the less than stellar company he is "managing"? Maybe it's because he hasn't read what we've posted about him and his company?

Highly successful companies are a product of highly motivated and very professional management. You rarely read about these companies being involved in demeaning lawsuits much less having their corporate officers being indicted. One thing you can say about McAfee, it hasn't let it's shady past stop it from continuing to be a less than admirable company.

McAfee, formerly known as Network Associates Inc, in 2006 agreed to pay a $50 million civil fine to settle fraud charges brought by the Securities And Exchange Commission. The controversy brought the abrupt departure of McAfee chairman and CEO George Samenuk and the firing of president Kevin Weiss and brought in the clown pictured to the left. He took off his red nose and funny hat for this picture.


But, you ask intelligently, what does that have to do with McAfee being enshrined in the Tabberone Trademark & Copyright Abusers' Hall of Shame? Nothing. It is just background. When we decided McAfee belonged on this web site we did our usual internet search for more dirt. And boy, oh boy, is there dirt out there about McAfee.

But first, we tell you what brought them to these pages. The first complaints we received about McAfee was when they still used the name Network Associates Inc, whom we would call Internet Simple-Shits. Seems they had an all inclusive "Kill them all" approach to eBay auctions. It appears they terminated ALL auctions that were attempting to sell software manufactured by Internet Simple-Shits, that is, Network Associates Inc, and would re-instate the auction ONLY AFTER the seller proved to Network Associates Inc that the seller was authorized to sell the software. It's not hard to figure out what Shawn Stephenson, Manager of Anti-Piracy and Compliance (and Bullshit) at Network Associates, really meant - you could only sell their "licensed" software if you were an "authorized" seller. We're betting no one qualified for re-instatement after providing proof of any kind. Their unethical and legally flawed approach infringed upon the rights of the sellers by assuming all sellers were guilty until they proved themselves to be innocent. That is copyright abuse. Why is it that the government cannot make such assumptions under the law but then it can turn around and allow private businesses to have that authority? The government does not. These low-life companies assume that authority because they know small sellers cannot fight back.

More recently, someone emailed us about McAfee, who, through their sorry-ass cyber cops, the Business Software Alliance, had terminated his eBay auctions and subsequently eBay suspended this seller.

Some jerk-wad named Peter Beruk who is Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy / Compliance Programs at McAfee appears to handle these problems. His reply, after some three weeks, on November 14, 2006 5:57:38 PM MST was:

Based on the auction, you listed multiple copies of product in one auction - one of the many determinants that we look at.

The seller replied with, "Could you point me to any federal or state statute that says multiple items violates the first sale doctrine?" Not an unreasonable request. Peter Beruk's snotty reply, Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy / Compliance Programs at McAfee, was,

"We utilize the channels provided to us by eBay and the DMCA.".

And just what does that have to do with the price of butter in Denmark? Nothing. It's a blow-off answer from a self-centered corporate yo-yo. And, the snotty Peter Beruk does not work for McAfee, he is "vice president of anti-piracy programs", Software & Information Industry Association, another scummy cyber cop. Why misrepresent yourself? It seems that is what McAfee, once the well respected and federally-fined Network Associates Inc.

The seller wrote him again, "Thanks for the reply, but unfortunately, your response does not answer my question. My question was could you please point me to any federal or state statute that says multiple items violates the first sale doctrine?"

Stuck on stupid, the Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy / Compliance Programs at McAfee, Peter Beruk, replied,

"Again, we utilize the channels provided to us by eBay and the DMCA. I do not recall ever speaking about the first sale doctrine you refer to."

The seller wrote him again, "We did not talk about it, but the first sale doctrine is what allows me to sell on eBay. Nowhere on it does it say listing multiple items violates its terms. Your answer does not explain to me why I was not allowed to sell your products, because you haven't explained what copyright law I have broken.".

It appears that at this point, the Idiot Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy / Compliance Programs at McAfee, Peter Beruk decided to cut his losses, and on November 18, 2006 5:04:06 AM MST, without telling the eBay seller anything,

"We've addressed the issue of the takedown, and asked BSA to contact eBay allowing them to repost your auction(s). As we did not ever cite anything about the first sale doctrine in our communications (this was your issue), it is not for us to address. This matter is closed."

Idiot Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy / Compliance Programs at McAfee, Peter Beruk completely ignored the legal fact of the First Sale Doctrine. Why? Because it suited him. Under the law, and under the DMCA, he is not required to tell the eBay seller why the auction was terminated. In fact, he is not required to even communicate with the seller whose auction he unethically and unlawfully ordered terminated through his cyber cop organization.

So, you say, the matter was resolved and everyone is a happy camper. Except that the seller was suspended from eBay for more than three weeks because of a faulty auction takedown by the sorry-ass cyber cops, the Business Software Alliance. But all's well that ends well, right? Wrong!

The seller wanted to get reinstated. A week after the Idiot Director, Worldwide Anti-Piracy / Compliance Programs at McAfee, Peter Beruk claimed he had told the BSA to reinstate the auctions, the had not been reinstated. The seller emailed Peter Beruk again. Yo-yo's snotty reply,

"Sir, please see my previous message to you on this which closed the matter."

Whoa, Nellie. or should we call you Petey? That's really a low-life answer. Is Peter Beruk so important he can't take the time to get his job right?

Finally, a week later, the auction was stored and the suspended account was un-suspended. So why was the auction terminated? You read it. Because he listed multiple copies? BSA and McAfee are jokes and deserve each other. Unfortunately, innocent sellers are being punished for the actions of these idiots. Another example of why we need severe civil penalties to punish unethical corporations and their cyber cops.


Articles About McAfee

To be sure, there are positive articles available about McAfee. Most of them are self-serving press release type info-mercials touting what a great company they are and what a great product they have. Very little about their shitty attitude or their questionable ethics. Similarly, there are a ton of articles available touting the amount of pirated software being sold and being used. And most of those articles are self-generated propaganda pieces to justify the storm trooper tactics of fiends like Peter Beruk, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). Yes, there is pirated software out there. But that does not justify the "Kill them all" approach. We would not buy McAfee software if you paid us.
    Stop arguing over Symantecs, November 24, 1997,
    IT CAME AS no shock to the anti-virus world when Symantec sued McAfee in April 1997 for alleged copyright infringement. Industry watchers didn't pay much heed because ... well, because those two vendors fight all the time. Just another chapter in the Hatfield-McCoy saga, everyone thought.

    Public's Ability to Criticize Product at Issue, February 2, 2002,
    Attorney General Spitzer (NT State) announced that the State has filed a lawsuit against computer software developer Network Associates that seeks to put an end to speech restrictions that the company has placed on its software users.

    NY challenges McAfee covenants, February 7, 2002,
    New York state has sued [PDF file] the maker of McAfee anti-virus software alleging it is restricting free speech by barring customers from publishing product reviews without its consent, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced Thursday.

    McAfee's Trojan horse error gets developer's goat, September 10, 2004,
    An Australian software developer was considering suing McAfee after the anti-virus company wrongly identified his Internet setup program as a Trojan horse in a virus definition update.

    McAfee sleazes out again, May 28, 2005,
    McAfee got nailed in a class-action lawsuit for failing to live up to promises made on software they had sold. People lhad bought VirusScan version 4 (and 3) which came with the promise that McAfee would provide free virus signature updates.

    SEC Sues McAfee, Inc. For Accounting Fraud, January 4, 2006,
    The Commission's complaint alleges that from the second quarter of 1998 through 2000, McAfee misled investors when it engaged in a fraudulent scheme to overstate its revenue and earnings by hundreds of millions of dollars in violation of the federal securities laws. "MCAFEE AGREES TO SETTLE AND PAY A $50 MILLION PENALTY". Guilty as charged? Sounds like it.

    Security Company McAfee Loses Employee Data, February 27, 2006,
    Software security company McAfee touts itself as "[leading] the world in discovering, documenting, and addressing breaking threats and vulnerabilities." But now the company may be looking into increased security protection for itself, thanks to the loss of data on several thousand of its employees.

    Former McAfee exec to settle SEC charges, October 31, 2006,
    Former senior executive of McAfee agreed to pay around $757,000 to settle charges that he played a role in the company's alleged $622 million accounting fraud. Guilty as charged? Sounds like it.

    Ex-McAfee lawyer pleads not guilty, March 1, 2007,
    McAfee Inc.'s former top lawyer pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of stock options tampering in an alleged attempt to enrich himself at the expense of the computer security software maker's shareholders. Guilty as charged? Based upon the guilty pleas, it sure sounds like it.

    Former McAfee CFO convicted of securities fraud, May 11, 2007,
    Former chief financial officer of McAfee Inc. Prabhat Goyal, 52, of Los Altos, was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco of 15 counts related to securities fraud.

    McAfee settles lawsuit for $14 million, December 27, 2007,
    McAfee announced it had budgeted $13.8 million to cover the settlement of lawsuits filed in 2006 related to the backdating scandal - a term used when executives alter the grant date of stock options so that they can be purchased at a lower price and subsequently sold for higher gain.

    Mcafee Software Is Useless And Tech Support Run By Robots, July 11, 2008,
    Renewed McAfee software in March. Started getting messages that computer "was not protected." So far used the online technician 5 times, been on their so-called "chat" assistance 3 times, uninstalled and re-downloaded 2 times.

    Lawsuit of the Day: McAfee Sues WilmerHale for Alleged Overbilling, July 22, 2008,
    McAfee embroiled with Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr over $12 million in legal fees incurred in the trial of former McAfee Chief Financial Officer Prabhat Goyal. The company accused WilmerHale of fraud, theft, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

    McAfee Sues WilmerHale Over $12 Million in Legal Fees, July 22, 2008,
    Anti-virus software maker McAfee Inc. has set its sights on a new kind of bug: alleged overbilling.

    Judge to Dismiss McAfee Overbilling Suit Against Wilmer Cutler, July 28, 2008,
    A judge said he will dismiss McAfee Inc.'s lawsuit against Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr over alleged over billing, but the anti-virus software maker's fee fights are far from finished.

    7Search Sues McAfee For Red Flagging, August 25, 2008,
    In this lawsuit, 7Search said that it was in the toolbar business but stopped offering downloads from its site in 2003. However, McAfee's SiteAdviser gave 7Search the big red X and says "Feedback from credible users suggests that downloads on this site may contain what some people would consider adware, spyware, or other potentially unwanted programs."

You decide. Personally, we will never buy any product made by these bums.
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