Declan McCullough has a roundup of plenty of dreadful legislation that has been proposed to ban certain applications, pointing out how many would ban perfectly legitimate applications as well. His recommendation is that instead of banning applications, politicians should focus on banning behaviors. As has been said many times here, banning technology makes no sense. Banning bad behavior is perfectly reasonable. However, it's not necessarily so easy with software. If you asked the politicians and looked at some of the bills McCullough mentions, many would say that they are trying to ban behavior and not the technology. For example, with spyware, they're trying to ban the behavior or sneakily sending private info without the user knowing it. That's what the various laws propose - and it's clearly targeting a behavior. The end result, though, is that it bans any technology that automatically performs that "behavior." So, separating out software from behavior isn't always so easy.
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