Congress Questions Pending Spyware Bill

Even as they move rapidly toward taking action against malicious software programs in the next few weeks, federal lawmakers recognize that any move they make will likely have a limited effect on the huge problem of spyware. Fearing that a pending anti-spyware bill, the Spyblock Act, could inadvertently hamper legitimate downloadable products, software makers are busy lobbying for legislation that would pre-empt myriad state initiatives under way.

Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates was on Capitol Hill talking to lawmakers about a market-driven approach to battling spyware—an approach that has won a number of adherents in Congress. As an alternative to the Spyblock Act, a new measure introduced last week would provide increased resources and tools to enforce existing laws against fraud and deception, set a national standard for unfair and deceptive practices, and increase civil and criminal penalties. It would focus on criminal behavior rather than target a specific technology.

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News source: eWeek

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