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Congress Debates Anti-Spyware Bill 180

Posted by timothy
from the officialization-has-a-downside dept.
Spy der Mann writes "An anti-spyware bill could clear the U.S. House of Representatives as early as next week, but there are disagreements on how to define the term 'spyware.' A wrong decision could end up in two opposite directions: Either a law too restrictive for legitimate companies, or a "safe harbor" for some malicious spyware distributors. Could this become another CAN-SPAM?"
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Congress Debates Anti-Spyware Bill

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  • And they plan to enforce this... how?
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:07PM (#12256463)
      And they plan to enforce this... how?

      One effective way to enforce this would be to render Windows illegal to use across the nation...

      • One effective way to enforce this would be to render Windows illegal to use across the nation...


        It's not windows fault that there is spyware. It's idiots who buy products that are being advertised. If you stop buying penis enlargement pills, etc. Spam would stop.

        The same people who buy stuff from spam are the ones that buy everything from Wal-Mart. Then they go complaining that there are no livable wage jobs. Stupid people are part of the problem.
        • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:17PM (#12256528)
          It's not windows fault that there is spyware.

          Yes. Most other OSes generally don't let foreign programs run willy-nilly and do things behind users' backs.

          It's idiots who buy products that are being advertised. If you stop buying penis enlargement pills, etc. Spam would stop.

          Spam != spyware.
          • by Dolda2000 (759023) <fredrik@@@dolda2000...com> on Saturday April 16, 2005 @07:12PM (#12257899) Homepage
            Most other OSes generally don't let foreign programs run willy-nilly and do things behind users' backs.
            What OS(es) would that be? GNU/Linux/UNIX? Just place your spyware in the user's ~/.profile.

            Of course, there are many spyware programs that make their way into users' computers through holes in IE/DCOM/SMB/ActiveX/what have you, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of spyware comes with other programs, like Kazaa. That means that the user is willfully installing it. Sure, they may not know about it, but that doesn't mean they're not installing it by their own decision. There's nothing in any other OS that would prevent the user from doing that.

            The reason why there's no spyware on Linux is not primarily that Linux isn't yet as popular as Windows, as many others suggest. The reason why there's no spyware on Linux (yet) is that most people run free software on their Linux systems, and free software developers... well, don't normally bundle spyware with their programs. If or when proprietary software ever gets popular with Linux, I'll assure you that you'll see an increase in spyware for Linux.

            However, mind you that there's nothing inherent in Linux itself to stop it. Any such thing would just prevent the user from doing stuff, and would therefore be hindering users.

            Autopackage has a lot of text on this [autopackage.org].

            • I don't know about you, but I'd take cleaning a Linux machine over cleaning a Windows machine any day.

              Under normal circumstances with Linux, the only place a user may modify is ~. A user cannot install software for the system nor stick files anywhere on the computer. There isn't much you would have to look at to find the culprit.

              With Windows, under normal circumstances, the entire family has Administrator (or almost) privileges. This is because many things just don't work without the user having high p
              • I forgot to mention that I worked part-time as a computer tech until late last year. Though I didn't manage to infect my own computer much, I finally got tired of many of the things about Windows, decided to forgo most of my games, and switched to Linux about a year ago. Been happy and productive since.
              • I don't know about you, but I'd take cleaning a Linux machine over cleaning a Windows machine any day.

                Naturally -- I don't meant to argue about that. I, too, am a GNU/Linux user, and have been so exclusively for more than two years now, and there are too many reasons to list that I don't touch Windows even with a pair of pliers.

                However, my point was that both systems may some day have a need to be cleaned, regardlessly of which one is easier to clean. My point was that it is not for any technical merit

        • If you stop buying penis enlargement pills, etc. Spam would stop.

          Not necessarily. This assumes that the spammers are making money selling some dubious product. Certianly, some are. However, a lot of spammers are making their money by selling their spamming service to other unscrupulous individuals & companies.

          If I'm a spammer and I'm charging $5000 up front to send 50 million emails hawking penis pills on behalf of some other sleazeball, I'm getting paid regardless of whether or not he sells a

      • In other news..."Bill Gates was quoted as saying 'Really! I didn't design it, I originally stole most of my ideas from Apple!' as he was being arrested for propagating a malicious operating system.
    • by rpozz (249652)
      Spyware is like a trojan. Treat it that way. If a company tricks you into installing a piece of instrusive software that monitors the actions on your computer, then they should be punished in the same way as if it was a virus.

      Enforcing this internationally is a bit more tricky though.
    • By passing along a chain letter.
    • And they plan to enforce this... how?

      Maybe they will start by making all spyware illegal. Then they will notice most of it will come from servers outside the USA. So the next step might be to make software inside the USA incompatible with software outside the USA. Maybe a region lock on all computers, so it can only play software from your country code.

      If you want to get a machine which playes region 2 software, do so at your own risk. But I will be safe with my Congress approved region 1 computer. ;)

      • It's not always that simple. Sometimes the US will overlook certain crimes in other countries because we want good relations with them. I'm not so sure about "Congress approved " computers. Sounds to much like big brother to me. But I do see your point and in general you're correct the problem here is what is defined as 'spyware'.
      • >Maybe they will start by making all spyware
        >illegal.

        Then they figure out it needs better "protection" so they set up a multi step process to reach the goal.

        * First, make anyone who helps making spyware or help install spyware being illegal as well.

        * Then make any person who manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in spyware commiting an illegal act.

        * Then they make all those programs that bundle spyware illegal. Anyone involved in making, producing, programming, ma
  • It's like porn.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#12256443)
    Spam and Spyware are like Porn - Hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
    • Spam and Spyware are like Porn - Hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

      I didn't realize those dirty jpegs and avis reported keystrokes to Natalie Portman...
    • by m50d (797211)
      Porn has a very clear definition - material where the primary purpose is erotic i.e. arousing the viewer.
      • by jimmyCarter (56088)
        Porn has a very clear definition - material where the primary purpose is erotic i.e. arousing the viewer.

        The parent was actually a reference to Supreme Court Justic Potter Stewart's [slashdot.org] quote from the obscenity case of Jacobellis v. Ohio.
      • by Toby_Tyke (797359)
        Porn has a very clear definition - material where the primary purpose is erotic i.e. arousing the viewer.

        "You mean like every single commercial I've ever seen?" - Bill Hicks

        I have a copy of Micro Mart next to my keyboard, featuring an add for Arctic Silver thermal paste. The ad features a picture of a woman in skimpy bikini. I don't think she has an awful lot to do with the paste, and I am forced to conclude that the picture was included simply to try and arouse the viewer, thereby encouraging him lo
        • The purpose of the ad as a whole is probably to convince you of the merit of the product by making you think (consciously or not) you'll get women by using it, rather than to arouse you and thereby make you buy it, in which case it's not porn. But nudity is not necessary to make something porn, and a show that simply had women in skimpy bikinis for the sake of arousal would be pornographic.
    • "Pornography (from Greek pornographia -- literally writing about or drawings of harlots) is the representation of the human body or human sexual behaviour with the goal of sexual arousal, similar to, but (according to some) distinct from, erotica." (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography [wikipedia.org]).

      That being said, I think there is a saying that goes something like this: "erotica is what me and my friends like; porn is what people I don't know/care about like; and smut is what people my enemies like." It's g
  • too restrictive??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xlyz (695304) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:03PM (#12256444) Journal

    what is happening on my pc isn't business of anybody else. period.

    • If it's too restrictive legitimate uses of phone-home software could be rendered illegal. I don't think anyone wants commercial software checking the validity of its licence key over the internet to be outlawed, for example.
      • Why not? What is the need for that to occur? If a software vendor doesn't trust that I actually bought their product and feels they need to pull that crap, then I will happily find an alternative.
  • Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by janek78 (861508) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:09PM (#12256473) Homepage
    From TFA: The average "infected" computer had more than 90 spyware and adware programs.

    I doubt I have that many legitimate programs installed in my computer and I don't think these guys have either. The thought that their computers contain more spyware than software is scary.

    I don't believe that a law can change this though. It might decrease the number of US based spyware companies, but I doubt the effect will be noticeable.

    More secure browsers and user education seem like a better solution.
    • I think they meant 'files', rather than 'programs'. Just a guess, but it seems far more reasonable that way.
    • Haven't read the article, but previous counts of spyware on user machines tended to include cookies. Hopefully the proposed bill won't make the same mistake.
    • I clean up my little brothers windows machine with that ms-anti-spyware tool and it had over 90 spyware apps on it.

      So I can believe it :)
  • Which way did CAN-SPAM go?
    • It's working perfectly. It says that people can spam, right? I thought that was pretty obvious though that people are able to spam.
      • It's working perfectly. It says that people can spam, right?

        I can't say that I've ever seen a "legal" spam -- that is to say one which actually adheres to the restrictions [ftc.gov] of the CAN-SPAM act:

        • False or forged headers are forbidden
        • Deceptive subject lines are forbidden
        • Must have a working opt-out mechanism
        • Must identify itself as an advertisement
        • Must have sender's postal (snail-mail) address
  • pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slackadmin (840635) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:10PM (#12256484)
    Last time I checked fruad was illegal too, but guess what...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's about as sensible as a law so that a pet mice won't chip your furniture.

    Tell me, how could spyware even *work* if we had OSes that wouldn't allow programs to connect to the net *unless* we authorize them?

    Just put the pet mouse in a cage, no law needed.
  • by Radar|TGS (60772) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:12PM (#12256496)
    the CAN-SPY act?
  • by magarity (164372) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:12PM (#12256499)
    This article is just begging for a slightly condecending comment about how computers are not yet plug-n-go appliances that the public should be allowed to own without training and/or licensing. But where to point the blame... consumers, most of whom don't know how to change their car's oil or other equvalent activities to computer preventive maintenance? Microsoft ( the slashdot favorite whipping boy) for making it easy to use a computer without knowing anything more than 'click the E for internet'? Dell, for making computers as cheap as appliances? Lawmakers, who think they can wave a legislative wand and make internet miscreants (spammers, bot networkers, spyware writers) behave?
    • Lawmakers, who think they can wave a legislative wand and make internet miscreants (spammers, bot networkers, spyware writers) behave?

      To be fair, read the comments to any story here about malware, spam, etc and you'll see plenty of people clamouring for that sort of thing to be made illegal.

      Hell, there were people complaining recently that the guy who got 9 years for spamming got off lightly.
    • Consumers and MS and AOL. The latter for claiming that using a computer and going on the internet is easy. Imagine Toyota saying they make driving easy, just get in a car and go. It doesn't matter if consumers can't maintain their PCs themselves, but they should realise it's something that requires regular maintainance, and hire people to do it if they can't. They wouldn't expect their cars to run forever with no services, but thanks to the way computers have been marketed, they believe that computers can.
  • I got a good definition here [urbandictionary.com], and here. Of course, we can define it MY way: [reference.com]

    Spyware, N.: Spyware may be Slowing t3h yu0r PC down!!!1 Downl0ad t3h 0u|2 5py-5w33p3r t0d4Y!

  • by John Seminal (698722) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:14PM (#12256511) Journal
    there are disagreements on how to define the term "spyware". A wrong decision could end up in two opposite directions: Either a law too restrictive for legitimate companies, or a "safe harbor" for some malicious spyware distributors

    Congress should define spyware as any code that runs on your machine that you did not agree to instal (So if I instal FreeGamePack, I expect to get FreeGamePack and not HiddenBackdoorTorjan. I agreed to instal one but not the other). I remember installing debian once, and it had a list of over 1000 packages, each with a description. I would like to see Windows do that, give me choice. Do you want the Internet Explorer pack? Do you want the Netscape pack? Do you want the Mozilla pack?

    The second part of the definition is the software is not allowed to communicate to any other machines unless the owner of his machine allows it. That would kill RealPlayer and their crappy hidden settings.

    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:28PM (#12256605)
      The problem though is defining a concept like consent without placing overreaching restrictions on software developer's freedoms. I mean, the majority of spyware currently obtains your consent in some way to install itself - buried in term number 11, section 3b of the click-through EULA, it is disclosed that you hereby give consent for Claria to install Gator, for example. Of course, they know nobody has enough hours in the day to read EVERY EULA put in front of them, so of course no real consent is ever formed.

      Any third party product that is not functionally necessary for the application a user believes they are installing should be legally required to be a separable item in the installation process that you must opt-in, not opt-out, from. Sure, such a definition can be worked around by a malicious organization by making the spyware linked in like any old software library and claim it is functionally necessary for the advertised features of the software, but since such a connection would constitute an obvious attempt at circumvention, it should be easily thrown out by a judge at his or her discretion. Ultimately, any of these laws will require some of that kind of subjective precendence-setting to establish an enforcement regime.

      I would also like to see any modification of already-installed software on your computer require separate, explicit permission-gathering steps from the user (i.e. fucking with DNS a la new.net, or installing components into your browser toolbar). Any modifications those components make to content or user experience should be explicitly and clearly disclosed in that step, as well as any information gathered by said components for transmission back to the author or other third party.
      • Any third party product that is not functionally necessary for the application a user believes they are installing should be legally required to be a separable item in the installation process that you must opt-in, not opt-out, from.

        I like this! And while we are at it, have every peice of software have some easy way of unistalling it and every component. Most of the worst spyware is hidden, and difficult to remove. I had a friend with a registry setting to reset his browser to go to www.imakemoney.com or

      • This really isn't such a dramatic proposition. In some cases, certain types of provisions in a contract are not enforceable unless they are separately agreed to by the non-drafting party (i.e., if it's buried in the small print somewhere on p.7 of the form contract, it doesn't count -- there has to be a separate signature right next to the provision in question). If the law simply stated that the user had to give separate consent for a program to be legally installed, then each piece of spyware would have
      • The problem though is defining a concept like consent without placing overreaching restrictions on software developer's freedoms. I mean, the majority of spyware currently obtains your consent in some way to install itself - buried in term number 11, section 3b of the click-through EULA, it is disclosed that you hereby give consent for Claria to install Gator, for example. Of course, they know nobody has enough hours in the day to read EVERY EULA put in front of them, so of course no real consent is ever fo
    • The first part of your definition is a great start at stamping out the most insidious instances of spyware. Legitimate web designers aren't foisting this crap on their users, so it's easy to stay in compliance.

      The second part, while desirable for many of us, would probably be an undue burden on software publishers, creating a legal hoop that any developer (even some individual IANAL guy in the OSS movement) would have to make sure they jump through when distributing their software. There could be tons of
    • I remember installing debian once, and it had a list of over 1000 packages, each with a description.

      And did you read through, and understand, each and every one of those 1000 descriptions?

      Did you explicitly click 'Yes' on each one?

      • I remember installing debian once, and it had a list of over 1000 packages, each with a description.

        And did you read through, and understand, each and every one of those 1000 descriptions?

        Yes. And it was fun. It was like looking for treasure. It is where I found PUMP. As for the packages I did not understand, I did not instal them.

  • Why TF? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sebilrazen (870600)
    Don't the powers that be require that any installable must first seek permission to do so?

    "I'm about to install porn_dialer_v1.69.exe, Click OK to continue"

    • Re:Why TF? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by johannesg (664142)
      You know it won't look like this. It will be more like

      "You are about to install MSCFGT38.EXE. Installation of this program will improve your browsing experience, and is required to access this website."

      The fact that it is some sort of auto-dialer that connects to a foreign country at a rate of $65/min won't really get mentioned.

      Personally I blame Microsoft. They have been trying to hide what the computer is doing for years, undoubtedly out of some misguided notion that when you don't name the problems

  • It seems to me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wingsofchai (817999) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:18PM (#12256535)
    That trying to eliminate spyware is something like the attempt to eliminate P2P...pretty much pointless and ineffective. It's really a user issue...people just have to be smart about what they install, it's really not hard to avoid the really bad spyware...
  • by archevis (634851) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:22PM (#12256558)
    Could somebody please patent spyware/adware and start suing...?
  • The most objectionable software doesn't fit ANY definition of spyware. Outlaw the behavior and let Webster worry about defining words.
  • I can't see how this would work, the developers of the 'spyware' are already evolving their products to be classed as adware and stuff, the know the government is on to them and are getting out of the way

    It will be like closing one door but opening a window.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Spy-wear is a piece of soft-wear that is spying on ya computer. This is illegal, except if it's done by the Department of Homeland Security. I'm gonna work with the congress to make sure that any illegal spy-wear making evildoes - who probably supports gay marriage as well - gets their time in the sun down at Gitmo.
  • How exactly does one define spyware without alienating the enterprise environment? Some people might say that programs like Altiris Carbon Copy are spyware because they allow your machine to be remotely controlled without your knowledge. But at the same time, it's the company's right to use that software. The same is true for Altiris Agent. It transmits information about your machine without your knowledge. But the reason for this transmission is not malicious. It's for asset management and deployment. Cong
    • In that case, one possible fix then could be to replace "user" with "owner" in the definition. That would cover both home and office/enterprise PC's. But it probably opens other loopholes. I guess the only solution would be to add a clause defining the case for office computers, but I'm no lawmaker...
  • We witness the great American tradition of the merging of corporate desires (lobbying) with the welfare of the people (constituent complaints).

    Ain't it perty!?
  • CAN-SPY bill? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lead Butthead (321013) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:48PM (#12256717) Journal
    There are too much special interests involved; what law(s)that gets crafted will have loopholes size of oil tankers just to satisify the needs of the said special interests.

    Windows XP appears to track program usage (see add/remove program in control panel.) Do you honestly think that M$ keep that information are for entertainment purpose? I consider it without a doubt a market research tool, although I am also certain others would consider it a useful end-user tool. Does that count as a spyware? You can be damn sure M$ will make sure the crafted law(s) exclude that as spyware.

    In short, "screwed, we are now."
    • Of course it's a useful enduser tool. And in addition to this point, I have yet to see firewall logs and packets analysed to show that information is being sent back to Microsoft.

      If we're thinking of this function as being spyware, might I also suggest we consider the function of Redhat's Linux distro which stores information as to the last time and date a particular file was accessed as spyware?

  • Bad Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @04:07PM (#12256837) Homepage

    Could this become another CAN-SPAM?

    CAN (sorry, couldn't resist) and will.

    Seriously, this is an outstanding example of why legislative control is at best worthless, and more likely actively harmful. There's an old legal saying that "good cases make bad law." That is, when we try to achieve a just result in a particular case, we end up with a law that may serve that end well, but ultimately creates more problems than it solves.

    This goes double when the law concerns technology. The tech world is noted for the rapidity with which is advances; the legal world is noted for its resistance to change and advancement. When the latter regulates the former, it will inevitably lead to a stifling of future development. Definitions and phraseology become hyper-critical. For example, let's look at "spyware." How do you define it? What would you call a program that quietly looks at everything you type, taking note of some words as being particularly interesting? I'd call it a spellchecker. How about a daemon that goes through your e-mail and reports back to an agent information about how many e-mails you get from a particular sender, what kind of things you talk about, etc.? I'd call it an adaptive mail filter (Bayesian or similar). How about a webmail service that looks at your e-mail, analyzes it, and uses that analysis to present advertisements relevant to you? I think the term for that is Gmail [gmail.com].

    Yes, these examples are contrived; I deliberately chose them to demonstrate a point. I'm trying to show that even the best-intentioned law can have dramatic effects down the line, effects that we can't even begin to predict. There's another truism in law that if the case goes to court, the lawyers have already failed. The principle holds true here as well: if the Legislature gets involved, there are no winners, only losers.

    • For example, let's look at "spyware." How do you define it?

      Right, and if you could define it, then we wouldn't need any laws about it, because you could easily write software which automatically detects and destroys it.

      I really wish the government would just stay the hell out of regulating the internet. We'd have much more innovative software if software manufacturers didn't have to fear getting sued or going to jail just for writing a program. But then again, we'd have Napster, and DeCSS, and Advance

      • Gmail is a bad example. Thirty-one privacy and civil liberties organizations have urged Google to suspend it.

        That's why it's a perfect example. "Thirty-one privacy and civil liberties organizations" think it's an invasion of privacy, and would probably equate it (approximately) with spyware. Other people (and, presumably, organizations) don't have a problem with it. I certainly don't. So--what is it? Would you make Gmail illegal? Something tells me a significant number of Slashdotters wouldn't; who,

        • Your first two examples are totally harmless and useful things: no one would object to a spellchecker and few people would object to a spam filter, providing it worked. It seems like what you are saying is the wording has to be careful, or we ban things that are obviously OK.

          Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether Gmail is wonderful and revolutionary, or a privacy invasion and another sad step towards the monetization of all human social contact. Gmail is questionable, but a lot of people consider it g
          • Ultimately, I think the main difference between GMail and spyware, is information, (informed) consent and control. Spyware is about a lack of these things: you don't know what it's doing, you would most likely not want to install it it you knew what it's doing, it takes care to cover its proverbial ass, sometimes even going so far as to disable blockers like Ad-Aware etc., and you do not actually consent to it being installed (because it's either being installed through browser holes etc., like other malwar
  • trivially easy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    all we require is a few free apps designed to feed garbage data to the spyware company's server - if the 'legitimate' data that the spyware returns is lost in a morass of garbage generated by such apps, then the spyware industry ceases to be profitable..

    All that is needed is a snappy name to get the public to use it.. Gatorcide, DoubleAgent, something like that..
  • User Education (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dustinbarbour (721795) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @06:13PM (#12257590) Homepage
    This problem is NOT solvable by large government. If you want to eliminate spyware, user education is the only way to make it happen. Pure and simple. If anyone comes up with an effective way of educating users, let me know.. please.
  • by NoMercy (105420) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @07:38PM (#12258008)
    Dataprotection act means anyone who takes information off you must inform you before you hand over data as to what the'll be doing with it along with many other restrictions, it means spyware is illegal by default (unless they come with data protection statements for you to read though and ok first, doubt it :)
  • How about this? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @07:50PM (#12258066)
    I clean this crap up every damn day and I have a plan.

    First it requires the gathering of where to serve the papers, i.e. where are all these bastards hiding that make this stuff.

    Secondly every bill I give someone for this junk will have attached the necessary forms to file a small-claims suit to recoup some of what they've paid to have their machine cleaned, along with an index of who's spyware was removed.

    Let them all try to fight THOUSANDS of small claims filings in every district in the country. It should bury them.

    Would any law types out there like to weigh in on the various flaws to my scheme as IANAL and I'm certain there is some problem with this I don't see.
  • by jimhill (7277) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @10:53PM (#12259058) Homepage
    Any anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-bad-computer-thing that Congress codifies into law will be at best worthless and at worst disastrous for legitimate users. Why? I'm glad you asked. The reason is simple: there are people making money off spam and spyware. People who make money from something are always willing to give money to Congress to keep it coming, and Xrist knows Congressmen are always willing to take money in exchange for their legislative services. On the flip side, what've you got? Are you willing to send money to a Congresswhore to make the Net more usable for the good guys? Can you send enough to offset the DMA?

    I depress myself. Time for more hooch.
  • by DM9290 (797337) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @03:01AM (#12260115) Journal
    I imagine some people will immedietly object to a law based on some practical issue of unenforcibility.

    I dont think this is really a relevant issue on whether or not certain activity should be unlawful.

    Provided you can strictly define exactly what is being made illegal. The fact that you may never catch anyone breaking that law, doesn't mean the law should not be there.

    Some borderline ethical business people consider anything legal to be ethical and will not cross that line. They would happily kill people provided it was legal. But they would not sell a drink to a 20 year old (in the US).

    Simply making spyway illegal is likely to deter those people who abide by that business ethic, such as it is.

    Provided the definition of criminal spyware is narrow enough to not capture innocent software, I dont see why there is a problem making it a crime.

  • Who else would support the wordiest of wordy bills if it clarified and specified everything just right and blocked the hell out of spyware distributors' loopholes...?

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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