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Spyware bill moves to Senate

Committee vote sends Spy Block Act, which limits spyware, to the Senate for consideration.

A key Senate committee approved a modified version of an anti-spyware bill on Wednesday, a move that forwards the legislation to the full Senate for a vote expected by the end of the year. The revised Spy Block Act prohibits companies from surreptitiously installing software, requires that software provide a reasonably straightforward uninstall option, and bans software that leaks information about users unless they know about it in advance.

"It has become common practice for online spies to bury themselves in computer systems and watch every move computer users make," Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., said after the vote. The U.S. House of Representatives could vote on a similar measure as early as next week.