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Zone Labs says its firewall is no spy

No need for alarm
Wed Jan 25 2006, 14:25
ZONE LABS claims the communications detected by Infoworld boffin James Borck between its Zone Alarm Firewall and a bunch of remote servers are benign.

See "Is your fireall spying on you?" here.

The company sent us a statement outlining what it says is the truth of the matter.

Furthermore, it suggests that blocking communications between the product and the company could "significantly compromise" the protection offered by its ZoneAlarm product.

It says the software is periodically updated as new web-threats arise and claims, "the only way to deliver those updates is to maintain some level of communication between the software on a user's PC and the Zone Labs servers".

Here's a chunk of the statement:

"For any users who are concerned about this communication between the user's PC and the Zone Labs servers, it is important to note that Zone Labs does not infringe upon the privacy of our customers. We don't save personal information. We don't do many other things that legitimate software companies do to enhance their marketing efforts, like use persistent Web cookies. This conservative approach is intentional because we take privacy extremely seriously.

"After being contacted by James Borck of Infoworld, we maintained an ongoing dialogue with him to discover the source of his issue. Initially, we were unable to reproduce it in our labs, until he submitted his log files. At that point, we were able to identify the bug and provided Mr. Borck with a temporary workaround. We never refuted his contention that an issue existed, although it did take some time to replicate it.

"The actual communication in dispute is a simple encrypted GET request that is checking to see if the user's security software is current. We will continue to work with Mr. Borck and anyone else who might have any concerns about this issue." ยต

 

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