What's New: House Passes Anti-Spyware Bills

Late Monday the U.S. House of Representatives passed two anti-spyware bills that promise to get tough on spyware vendors. The Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act ("SPY ACT") requires many software programs collecting personal information to obtain permission first. It also would outlaw the acts of taking over a computer in order to send unauthorized information or code, and diverting a Web browser without the permission of the computer owner. The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 393-4, prohibits Web advertising that computer users cannot close "without undue effort" or without shutting down the computer, and prohibits collecting personal information through keystroke logging.

A second bill passed by a 395 to 1 vote, the Internet Spyware Prevention Act (I-SPY Act) sets jail terms of up to five years for a person who uses spyware to access a computer without authorization and uses the computer to commit another federal crime. The I-Spy Act also would allow a jail term of up to two years for a person who uses spyware or phishing scams to obtain someone else's personal information or to defraud the computer owner.

Both bills passed the House last year but the Senate adjourned before taking action.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:26 am CDT

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