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House Approves Spyware Bill--Again

Saturday, January 1, 2005


he House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed two separate bills this week designed to address the growing problem of spyware. HR 29, introduced by Mary Bono (R-Calif.), would impose stiff fines on anyone found guilty of distributing computer code that results in browser hijacking, modifying bookmarks, collecting personal information without permission, and disabling security mechanisms. Violators can be fined as much as $3 million per incident. One of only four Representatives who voted against Bono's bill, Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) had introduced another bill, HR 744, that also prohibits installing spyware.Lofgren's bill, which passed 395 to 1, would impose fines and jail time to anyone found guilty. Both bills now go to the Senate, which failed to act on a spyware bill sent by the House last year. Senators have said they will not allow a similar situation this year.

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