This spyware does not sneak into your computer through the internet, it is hidden in the CD waiting for you to place it into your computer's CD drive. To be 'fair' to Sony, there is a prompt stating that the CD will install a small program that will remain in the computer until removed or deleted. the joke is that if you try to delete it, there is a good chance that you'll end up disabling your CD drive.
Privacy and security experts charged that the technology built into many of Sony's music CDs since March is unnecessarily invasive and exposes users to threats from hackers and virus writers.
"Here you have one of the biggest name-brand corporations on the planet getting into what many people in other circumstances would consider hacking," said Richard Smith, a security and privacy consultant based in Boston. "That's just not acceptable." - Washington Post
Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far - Mark Russinovich
But don't worry, there is a way to get the program off your computer:
But according to Mikko Hypponen, director of research for Finnish antivirus company F-Secure Corp., users who want to remove the program may not do so directly, but must fill out a form on Sony's Web site, download additional software, wait for a phone call from a technical support specialist, and then download and install yet another program that removes the files.
It was only a week or two ago that I read that there are also copy protection issues with Sony's Playstation and PSP. Apparently Sony uses region coding in the PSP so that only games purchased in the same region as the Playstation will work. So if you happen to buy the playstation in the US and move to Australia, the games sold in Australia will not work in your Playstation. I have been told that the games have yet to be coded by region, yet.
Whatever damage this software might be doing to computers, it probably is nothing compared to the damage to Sony's reputation. So now in addition to not buying Sony electronics, now I need to avoid their CDs too. Not that I play CDs in my computer now, but I might want to in the future.
Study of Sony Anti-Piracy Software Triggers Uproar - Washington Post
Read here for my comments on Sony Stupidity concerning their new DVD standard:
Those who cannot learn, Prologue: SONY Blue-Ray DVD Stupidity - FFI