House panel passes spyware permission bill

A U.S. House subcommittee approved a bill on Thursday that would regulate computer "spyware," forcing software makers to notify consumers before installing some kinds of monitoring programs on their PCs.

The bill, introduced by California Republican Mary Bono and New York Democrat Ed Towns, is one of several targeting the kinds of annoying or potentially dangerous applications known as "spyware," "adware" or "malware."

Bono and Towns' H.R. 2929, now renamed the "Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act," (SPYACT) was amended in committee to bar practices such as key logging--a way of spying on computer users' actions by recording every stroke on the keyboard--and the display of advertisements that can not be closed.

Bono and Towns' bill will be heard next by the full House Energy and Commerce Committee. A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate, and is currently being reviewed by the Commerce Committee there.

News source: News.com

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