TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Congress Approves Second, Stricter Anti-Spyware Law

Congress Approves Second, Stricter Anti-Spyware Law

Reuters News Wire (
Fri, 08 Jun 2007 00:06:39 -0500

The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday legislation that
would impose new requirements on software companies and advertisers to
protect computer users from spyware.

House lawmakers approved an anti-spyware bill that would require
software distributors to clearly notify and obtain consent from
consumers before programs can be loaded onto a computer. The bill
passed on a vote of 368 to 48.

The legislation is opposed by the software industry, which argues that
new regulatory requirements could hurt innovation and technology

The industry favors an alternative bill, passed by the House last
month, that would impose specific penalties for the fraudulent use of
spyware but would not adopt new regulations.

Lawmakers in the Senate have yet to take up the issue.

Spyware has emerged as a major headache for computer users. It can end
up on users' computers through a virus or through downloaded games or
other free programs off the Internet.

Spyware can sap computing power, crash machines and bury users under a
blizzard of unwanted ads. Scam artists can also use spyware to capture
passwords, account numbers and other sensitive personal data.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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