October 6th, 2004 02:45 PM
NEWS: Bill imposes hefty 'spyware' fines
Tired of Spywares invading ur privacy?
well ud be glad to know that the feds have done something about that.
few weeks ago i posted a thread regarding about having a Bounty on Spam Mailers.
now, heres the response of the feds regarding those annoying Spywares...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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 most egregious behaviors ascribed to the category of such software -- secretly recording a person's computer keystrokes or mouse clicks -- are already illegal under U.S. wiretap and consumer protection laws.
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-California, 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. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who often votes against spending measures, cast the lone dissenting vote Tuesday. The House separately was expected to approve another anti-spyware bill as early as Wednesday. That bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Virginia, provides for additional criminal penalties. The chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said Goodlatte's anti-spyware bill was preferable because of its criminal sanctions, and Barton said he will work to combine both proposals for a final vote by year's end.
Barton acknowledged that experts had recently found more than 60 varieties of spyware installed on the panel's own computers. He said all the spyware programs had been installed without the permission of computer users. The committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, called the proposal approved Tuesday "a bill whose time has come." "People are increasingly finding their home pages have been changed or their computers are sluggish," she said. "Their computers are no longer their own, and they can't figure out why." 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.
Two down.. one to go.. Adwares...
bah.. i clicked the wrong Forum Topic section.. this is suppose to go to Misc Security...
October 6th, 2004 03:07 PM
I've moved it for you. I saw this on Full Disclosure earlier and was sort of surprised to see this response by one person:
Of course, the question is will it actually be used? If the bill isn't enforced, it becomes rather useless, no?
Source: Full Disclosure Archives
Great, Not that I'm any fan of spyware, but this is just another law against hacking. Think - what's the difference between this and someone using XSS to "take control" of a computer? If you r00t a box and deface the home page, then you've broken this law.
October 6th, 2004 03:19 PM
hmm well lets hope its enforced. as the report says, many people already feel like their computers are no longer their own. i guess the difference between spywares and r00ting boxes and defacing is that spywares are very subtle and does not disrupt normal functions of the pc or cause any malfunction of the system. and is always claimed used for "business purposes" or "statisical data". thus, counting it as a malicious act doesnt hold much ground. although it does invade people's privacy. im surprised it took the govt ages to recognize that spywares are just as illegal as tapping your neighbour's phone lines or reading their mails.
October 6th, 2004 03:27 PM
I'm not. The gov't (at least in the US) are now allowed to do this without a warrant (thank you Patriot Act). All that someone has to do is say the T word and *boom*, bye-bye privacy. Additionally, IIRC, many of these spyware companies make a whack of cash. One former student at my college went to work for one of these companies. They brought in $16 million per MONTH. Hard to argue with that.
im surprised it took the govt ages to recognize that spywares are just as illegal as tapping your neighbour's phone lines or reading their mails.
October 6th, 2004 03:38 PM
true true, i did a look up on spywares and adwares, there ARE businesses that provide those services to other bussinesses, they claim it as means of Advertising and Statistical Feedback for their clients. and yah they do pull in huge amount of money. My uncle few weeks ago was in a business and the idea of adwares and spam did cross his mind. i ofcourse told him its a bad move, considering SPAM is already illegal here in australia.
October 6th, 2004 03:54 PM
It would be interesting to see their definition of Spyware. What about those programs that give you a pop up box and ask you if you want to install? A lot of users will usually just click ok and then (at least in theory) the user ok them to install the spyware. It will be interesting to see what companies they go after and (after MsMittens comment about how much one company makes) how much of a fine they put on Spyware companies.
Barton acknowledged that experts had recently found more than 60 varieties of spyware installed on the panel's own computers. He said all the spyware programs had been installed without the permission of computer users.
N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)
October 6th, 2004 04:04 PM
now you just mentioned a Technicality there, neighbour... the popup that asks the victims to click OK, does techically serve as a "permitted installation". i mean, sure they have no clue what the heck they just clicked, even though the popup says THIS WILL INSTALL A SOFTWARE THAT WILL MONITOR YOUR ACTIVITIES.... i know some people who wont bother reading what the popup says and just click YES or OK.
October 6th, 2004 04:45 PM
LOL. This is worthless. Wanna know why? How the hell do you prosicute a bunch of spyware authors in Brazil with U.S. law? This will only be affective against domestic annoyances. How long do you think it will take them to migrate out of the U.S. and base operations overseas?
Just for the record, I'm not capping on your post at all. I'm glad you posted it.
Our scars have the power to remind us that our past was real. -- Hannibal Lecter.
Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. -- John Wooden
October 7th, 2004 03:53 AM
well you have a point there horse. SPAM is illegal here in australia, it doesnt stop ppl in america but atleast it gets rid of spams originating from australia. i guess we can say thesame for this bill. atleast it can stop spywares originating from america. one tiny step at a time, we eventually get there at some point.