TYLER, TX—Edward (name changed) had mixed feelings after he started his computer late Tuesday evening. The college junior, at home for the summer from Texas A&M University, found himself again bored and lonely, but when he looked for soothing in his sinful habit, he found that his files of pornography had been erased.
“I was upset at first, and then worried,” said Edward. He continued, “I was worried that my mom had found them and erased them, but then I realized that she doesn’t have the password and that the computer had not been turned on.” What had actually happened was some spyware Edward had inadvertently loaded had erased his files.
Mark Summers from McAfee, a prominent spyware detection and removal company, said that “we started to get reports (like Edward’s) in April. It was mostly men and they were all Mormon saying that their porn was gone. Some were panicked, while others seemed mystified and even relieved.”
McAfee has pinpointed the pornography erasing software as a spyware program called Nrop. “Frankly,” said Summers, “it is just the sort of sophisticated, clever, and virtuous programs that we would expect, the source seems to be Orem, Utah, and the rather corny name refers to how it reverses porn.” Added Summers, “Mormon programers tend to be bright but goofy in their program naming practices.”
The program was apparently covertly bundled with any downloaded files from the General Conference Priesthood session and with downloads of For the Strength of Youth and Preach my Gospel. The program not only blocks incoming pornographic images or texts, but it targets existing computer files. What happened to Edward seems to be typical. Edward explained that “the program found my folders like the one labeled 'Hot Eskimo Sorority Girls' and erased it completely. I was pretty upset initially, but then I was glad that it had all been erased. Sort of.”
No one from Church headquarters would comment on the Nrop spyware, though an official who could not be named said that “the Lord and BYU’s Computer Science Department work in mysterious ways.”