COAST – the consortium of anti-spyware developers – has fallen apart according to E-Week. What did COAST in? Some members say it was the proposed granting of membership to some spyware companies, , such as 180Solutions, saying that opening the standards-setting group to include the very targets it was trying to thwart would turn the consortium into a farce, lending a marketing blessing to the enermy.
Others said the revenue motivation of some members had slowed progress.
Standard-setting bodies are a tactical dance between the members — often competitors — who must strike a balance between their economic interests and the greater good of the standard. One McKinsey partner, when advising a client who had several options during the frothy hey-day of B-2-B consortia (join an b-2-b group created by a competitor, create its own or join one created by a startup), told the client to accept membership in all of them for the simple, evil reason that if the client ever wanted to insure the failure of a consortia, the best place to work its will was within the consortia, as a member.
In this case, the unique twist on this failed standard is not a dispute over the technical architecture or other fine point, but on the strange position of debating whether to permit the membership of a company the standard was trying to thwart. Hypothetically like NATO falling apart over the issue of letting the USSR join in 1960. The ulterior motive of a 180solutions — which Spyware guru Ben Edelman has blasted for having one of the most befuckticated installation routines of all — and other spyware/ad technology scum is to cloak themselves in the respectability of a consortium like your local meth lab joining MADD.