Senators Reintroduce Antispyware Bill

last year,

As happened last year, the Senate lagged behind the House in 2005 in debuting an anti-spyware bill. Earlier this year, Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) re-introduced her Spy Act, which has since left committee and gone to the full House.

Co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), the SPYBLOCK (Software Principles Yielding Better Levels of Consumer Knowledge) Act would prohibit software installation without the owner's consent and require uninstall procedures for all downloaded software. It would also forbid software that surreptitiously collects information about the user.

"Consumers should have control over the programs on their machines and should not have their privacy jeopardized by invasive programs lurking on their computers," said Wyden in a statement.

"When I purchase a computer and install it in my home, I expect to be the only one who has access to it," added Burns in an accompanying statement.

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SPYBLOCK would slap criminal penalties for "certain particularly egregious and intentional acts" and would also provide litigation protection for anti-spyware software vendors from being sued for blocking or deleting spyware from a computer.