October 8th, 2004, 12:14 AM
First Civil and Now Criminal Penalities for Spyware
Thought you'd enjoy this:
Bill Imposes Prison Time Over 'Spyware'
Thu Oct 7,12:24 PM ET
by TED BRIDIS, AP Technology Writer
WASHINGTON - The House on Thursday passed the second bill in three days that would outlaw "spyware," irritating software that quietly monitors the activities of Internet users.
It would add penalties of up to five years in prison for people convicted of installing such programs without a computer user's permission.
The bill, known as the "Internet Spyware Prevention Act," passed 415-0. It would give the Justice Department (news - web sites) $10 million to crack down on companies and others that secretly install spyware and those who attempt to trick victims into disclosing personal details and financial information in e-mail scams popularly known as "phishing."
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (news, bio, voting record), R-Va., said such problems were growing and serious. Offenders under his bill would be sentenced for up to five years for secretly installing spyware to break into someone's computer and commiting another federal crime
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October 8th, 2004, 02:16 AM
I am all for penalties for iligitmate installs where there was no chance for the user to know about it.
One of the frustrating thing with spyware is that it may be installed without your knowing, but it may be your own fault for not knowing. It does prove difficult, making this bill not really all encompassing, when there are so many spyware apps that are installed when you are installing freeware/ shareware apps these days. Most users don't take the time they should to read through the EULA (End User License Agreement), or Terms & Conditions to find out what they are subjecting themselves to.
How many of those that post on this site actually sit down and read the full EULA. I know that on rare occassions I find myself guilty of not wanting to deal with the whole thing and just skimming it at best. I have suffered for such actions wasting more time than I care for on removal of the extraneous garbage.
I would hope that a bill like this would extend forth and make one of the prerequisites of a spyware install a software purpose disclosure. I would like nothing more than to have at least a short, if not comprehensive, list of what the software may be doing when I can't see it.
Just my opinion though.
Decent article btw.
\"I believe that you can reach the point where there is no longer any difference between developing the habit of pretending to believe and developing the habit of believing.\"
October 8th, 2004, 02:37 AM
it is about TIME. but i don't understand how are they going to enforce it? and how are they going to make it cost effective and managable and "realistic" to go after the law breakers in this case?
October 8th, 2004, 03:28 AM
We’d be naive to believe this is the cure-all for spyware, but maybe we can curtail it some. I guess, for a while it will be like traffic laws. If the law is posted - like a speed limit, some will abide by it and some will not. The law enforcement will set up speed traps and some will get caught and some will get through. And the mere threat of legal action and time in a cell with bubba will persuade some of them to stop as well. But regardless, any help we can get will be better than where we are now.
^5 to the brave souls that got it off the ground!
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October 8th, 2004, 08:30 PM
I agree! its about time that the gov. got serious about punishing people who willing put bad programs on people who dont know they have them on there...