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Software

Proposed spyware bill seeks penalties

An anti-spyware proposal moving rapidly through the U.S. House of Representatives now has some competition.

An anti-spyware proposal moving rapidly through the U.S. House of Representatives now has some competition. The new bill, called the Internet Spyware Prevention Act and introduced Thursday, veers in a completely different direction than a competing measure that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved.

Instead of trying to define what computer software should or shouldn't do, the ISPA instead says it's illegal to install software "without authorization" if it leaks personal information or "impairs" a computer's security. Unlike the Commerce proposal, it includes criminal penalties of up to two years in prison. It's sponsored by Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Lamar Smith, R-Tex.