FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Congress Cracks Down on Spyware

Netizens, your tax dollars are finally paying off! Today, the House passed the "Spy Act," a bill that imposes guidelines for companies that develop software capable of monitoring users, and states that users must grant explicit permission before the software can be downloaded, under penalty of fines. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.), passed 399-1 (Rep. Ron Paul [R-Tx.] was the lone dissenting vote).

The House is scheduled to vote on a second anti-spyware bill tomorrow. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.), contains extra criminal penalties for firms that violate spyware laws. The bills specifically prohibit the FBI or spy agencies from secretly collecting user information.