G.R.E.E.D.: Internet Spyware as Art

I found this little tidbit of Internet art very clever. I am curious about the outcome as well as if anyone will really install it?

“G.R.E.E.D.” is a browser extension, a small piece of software, by Greg Leuch that acts as a parasite to its voluntary audience, monitoring the browsing history and identity information of users. Should a user attempt to deactivate it, “G.R.E.E.D.” will publish their stored (and presumably private) data. This is only preventable by paying a licensing fee to Leuch through Art Micro Patronage. It’s aggressive spyware as art, a work that blackmails its own bounty from collectors.

And from the creator of the project, Greg Leuch,

Greed powers our economy through restrictive licensing deals and claims of copyright. What enables this demand is the ability to control access or demand incentives as compensation for their work. The Internet, built without these restrictions, is being threatened to include protections for licensed and copyrighted content.

G.R.E.E.D. (Glom & Restrict Entities on Existing Domains) demonstrates how a web user’s browsing experience and anonymity can be threatened through restrictions, take-downs, censorship, and monetary blackmail if such license and copyright restrictions are imposed on the Internet.


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