The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday unanimously passed a second bill targeting perpetrators of computer "spyware" that hides in users' computers and monitors their activities. The House voted 415 to 0 to stiffen jail sentences for those who use secret surveillance programs to steal credit-card numbers or commit other crimes. The vote came two days after House lawmakers approved a separate bill that establishes multimillion dollar fines for spyware perpetrators.
Backers expect to combine the two bills with another spyware bill pending in the Senate, though time is running short in the legislative year. Spyware can sap computing power, crash machines and bury users under a blizzard of unwanted ads. Scam artists use keystroke loggers and other forms of spyware to capture passwords, credit-card numbers and other sensitive data. Under the bill, those found guilty of using spyware to commit other crimes would face up to five years in prison on top of their original sentences.
News source: Reuters