Feeds

No need for anti-spyware laws - FTC

User clean thyself

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The US Federal Trade Commission is resisting calls from consumer lobbyists to pass anti-spyware legislation. Regulators have instead joined with the IT industry to call for improved self-regulation and user education.

Spyware applications are programs that secretly forward information about a user's online activities to third-parties without a user's knowledge or permission.

At an FTC workshop on the issue this week, Commissioner Mozelle Thompson said it was too early for laws to ban spyware. The FTC reckons the deceptive practices employed by many spyware applications are already illegal under existing laws against consumer fraud and identity theft, The Washington Post reports.

Utah recently became the first US state to declare spyware a crime. Critics say the law is too broad and could ban legitimate applications. Defining what is - or is not - spyware is highly contentious. Two anti-spyware bills have been tabled at Congress but neither has much momentum behind them. That, combined with a lack of desire for tougher rules from regulators, is placing the issue on hold, at least legally.

So consumers need to look to IT suppliers for protection. And greater awareness is the order of the day, just as it is for the similar risks posed by virus and spam. This is all well and good, but tougher enforcement against offenders, as advocated by group like the Center for Democracy and Technology, surely ought to be part of the equation. ®

Related stories

The average PC: spyware hotel
Spyware found on one in three corporate networks
eBlaster spyware has Achilles heel

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.