Feeds

House taunts Senate with anti-spyware bill

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Security for virtualized datacentres

The US House of Representatives has passed an anti-spyware bill, but the measure must be passed by the Senate before it becomes law. The Senate does not currently have anti-spyware legislation in front of it.

The bill passed by a voice vote in the House this week is a less radical law than some of the alternative proposals that have been circulating House committees. It does not contain a demand that users be notified before software is installed, a crucial element of a similar bill.

The bill creates a penalty of up to five years in jail for people using spyware to commit fraud.

Spyware is a collective term for software that gathers information about computer users. At its most benign it delivers unwanted advertising. At its most dangerous it allows a third party to learn usernames, passwords and account details and defraud the user.

It is most commonly downloaded as an unannounced component of free software, as a part of downloaded games or as a result of a virus.

A competing bill which recently received the endorsement of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was more stringent. It required the distributors of programs to notify users and obtain their consent before a piece of software was downloaded. The software industry opposed that element of the proposed bill.

The House has twice before proposed anti-spyware legislation, but each time the Senate did not approve the new laws.

Spyware can be illegal in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act and adware can fall foul of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations if it is installed by stealth.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.