Companies and others that secretly install "spyware" programs on people's computers to quietly monitor their Internet activities would face hefty federal fines under a bill the House passed Tuesday. The most egregious behaviors ascribed to the category of such software — secretly recording a person's computer keystrokes or mouse clicks — are already illegal under U.S. wiretap and consumer protection laws.
The House proposal, known as the "Spy Act," adds civil penalties over what has emerged as an extraordinary frustration for Internet users, whose infected computers often turn sluggish and perform unexpectedly. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., provides guidelines for technology companies that distribute software capable of most types of electronic monitoring. It requires that consumers explicitly choose to install such software and agree to the information being collected.
News source: Yahoo News!