I loathe spyware. And I hate spyware that tries to install itself on my computer via ActiveX even more. But I cannot really comment on the N54 spyware problem - why? Because I'm an Opera
user for several years now, and even in its default configuration I only get one normal, graphical pop-up every five posts or so which could be blocked as well with one keystroke if I wanted.
But I realize that's not really an option. Most people are using IE unfortunately, and if people from other places like the GalCiv boards turn away from this place because of the spyware popups, then this as a Very Bad Thing - for us, but for N54 as well, as they generate less traffic and thus will receive less money from their ad sponsors that way. And if regulars like you get pissed off by this then it gets even worse.
I guess KoP, Gris or Charis have already raised this issue to N54, right? Probably won't help, but who knows - given enough complaints, they might rethink their ad strategy. (Heh, I'm naive, I know)
If that won't help, there are several options.
* Those who are too annoyed by the ads could upgrade their account (or create one in the first place) to remove the ads. Disadvantages: That would actually cost money (but we cannot expect everything on the net to be free, can we?); it's not really an option for new members since they would want to lurk here for a while to decide if it's worth it; it may not be possible for non-US citizens to pay (haven't checked).
* We could move to another host. Disadvantages: That new host would probably cost money as well, which would have to be paid not by the individual user but by our hosts, KoP, Gris and Charis. That could be compensated for by donations from the community - I would certainly donate money, as I call this place home now for several years. Another disadvantage would be that we probably will lose some people in the transition, and that some old-timers wanting to make a return won't find us anymore.
* If both of the above won't be an option (too expensive; too much work; ...), then at least make a post on the main page explaining the problems with the spyware pop-ups and provide some ideas how to avoid them (using a different browser; using IE extensions; using anti-spyware software etc.). Maybe that prevents some people from turning away if they know what to do against the spyware. (Would N54 allow such a post?)
Sirian, you may consider raising this issue in the general forum as well (and a notice about this in the civ forum), as this effects the whole community. I know you don't frequent the general forum anymore, but if the spyware ads are so out of control that regulars think about leaving and new people get scared away, then this issue should be made aware to all.