The US government is asking a court to shut down Seismic Entertainment Productions and SmartBot.Net for spreading a spyware program which asks users to pay $30 to purchase Spy Wiper or Spy Deleter to stop the spyware program from operating.

The program is malicious as it causes CD Rom trays to open, slows down PCs, causes PCs to not work at all and affects web browsers. A succession of pop up messages then ask for $30. It is noted that this is not a new practice for spyware makers.

Sanford Wallace of New Hampshire runs the spyware firms. Not only does the FTC want his firms shut down, it also wants him to pay back any revenues he made. The FTC says this is a deceptive business practice. Spyware is still legal in the US.