Thursday, October 07, 2004

House passes bill imposing hefty fines over 'spyware'

(By Ted Bridis / AP Technology Writer)--Companies and others that secretly install “spyware” programs on people’s computers to quietly monitor their Internet activities would face hefty federal fines under a bill the House passed Tuesday.

The House proposal, known as the “Spy Act,” adds civil penalties over what has emerged as an extraordinary frustration for Internet users, whose infected computers often turn sluggish and perform unexpectedly. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., provides guidelines for technology companies that distribute software capable of most types of electronic monitoring. It requires that consumers explicitly choose to install such software and agree to the information being collected. The House voted 399-1 to approve the bill. The House separately was expected to approve another anti-spyware bill as early as Wednesday. That bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., provides for additional criminal penalties
The House bill approved Tuesday explicitly permits snooping software built by the FBI or spy agencies secretly collecting information under a court order or other legal permissions affecting federal departments.
The bill’s bans against spyware would begin 12 months after it becomes law and would automatically expire after 2009.
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The House bill approved Tuesday is H.R. 2929; the bill expected to pass as early as Wednesday is H.R. 4661.

This is an interesting bill because I would say over 50% of the spyware out there the consumer actually approves to be loaded (i.e. KAZAA). This may help persuade some not to write this type of software, but I have a feeling that most of the software developers covered their ass in the EULA. Meanwhile I will continue to BankRoll off this goldmine by charging consumers to remove it.


Blogger None said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 7, 2004 at 1:15 AM  
Blogger None said...

We make a ton of money off removing Spyware, but if this curbed the insane wave that's swallowing consumers right now, I'm all for it. I'm tired as of hell playing hide-and-seek with this software.

October 7, 2004 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

Follow that link to more about this. There is a second bill that would involve jail time for violaters of the Spy Act.

October 8, 2004 at 1:06 AM  

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