Spyware is ANY SOFTWARE which employs your Internet connection in the background (the so-called "backchannel") without your knowledge or explicit permission. You're paying for your ISP connection. It is THEFT from YOU!! You've been ROBBED!
Silent background use of an Internet "backchannel" connection MUST BE PRECEDED by a complete and truthful disclosure of proposed backchannel usage, followed by the receipt of explicit, informed, consent for such use. ANY SOFTWARE communicating across the Internet absent these elements is guilty of information theft and is properly and rightfully termed: Spyware. Most users find that spyware slows down their systems as the backchannel is used to send your browsing habits to the spyware's server. I notice net-speed performance improvement every time I use AdAware.