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California sets fines for spyware

by SteveGargini / January 1, 2005 2:22 PM PST

The makers of computer programs that secretly spy on what people do with their home PCs could face hefty fines in California.
From 1 January, a new law is being introduced to protect computer users from software known as spyware.

Well I think it is good that something is being done about spyware, but I am not sure how enforceable the law could be.

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And how does California propose to fine an offshore company?
by Paul C / January 1, 2005 6:41 PM PST

That's just the first thing that comes to mind, Steve. It's not that this is a bad idea; it's merely an unenforceable one if the spammer is out of the country - and maybe if the spammer's out of state...

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Good point Paul
by SteveGargini / January 2, 2005 1:08 AM PST

That was exactly what was on my mind Paul.
I really don't think that this has been thought through properly.
It will be interesting to find out what they intend to do to enforce it.

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might be 'other' ways...
by Dragon / January 2, 2005 10:15 AM PST
In reply to: Good point Paul

Should be some way of destroying the guy's puter, if properly done.

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I believe there was a Federal law proposed to that effect

last session, Paul -- not sure what happened to it.

Happy New Year! -- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
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The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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well thats the catch
by Mark5019 / January 1, 2005 8:02 PM PST

but maybe just maybe if i installed a program and then rad spyware/malware programs and something showed up it might hold up for the fines to the original software maker.

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A nice idea Mark
by SteveGargini / January 2, 2005 1:14 AM PST
In reply to: well thats the catch

But would the U.S have the necessary jurisdiction to fine companies in other countries?

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(NT) (NT) Perhaps if they do any legitmate business in US?
by Roger NC / January 2, 2005 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: A nice idea Mark
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Trouble with that Roger
by SteveGargini / January 2, 2005 2:01 AM PST

I have heard that members of the mafia in some eastern countries are the sort of crooks that try this sort of thing.
Unfortunately, the transgressors very often do not live in the U.S, or have any legitimate business with the country.

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(NT) (NT) dont think so:(
by Mark5019 / January 2, 2005 2:05 AM PST
In reply to: A nice idea Mark
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(NT) (NT) That's the problem with this sort of thing Mark :(
by SteveGargini / January 2, 2005 2:10 AM PST
In reply to: (NT) dont think so:(
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Didn't California also do something in-State
by MarciaB / January 1, 2005 11:47 PM PST

regarding spammers? I seem to recall a thread some time ago about that, and the law applied only to those spammers that were caught in California. Something like that.

Anyway, this is likely the same. If each State and other countries would start cracking down on these jerks in their own areas, maybe there would be fewer problems overall. It's a nice thought, anyway Happy

Good for California! My Southern neighbor

.

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You may well be right Marcia
by SteveGargini / January 2, 2005 1:33 AM PST

Now you come to mention it, I wonder if it is the same piece of legislation.
There is a slight difference between a spammer, who wants to sell his service, albeit in a most disgraceful fashion, and an out and out criminal, who is trying to steal credit card information from somebody's P.C.
It's a bit of a grey area in between the spammer and the criminal.
Steve

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