Anti-Spyware Bill Tries Yet Another Approach: It's All About The Money

from the but-can-they-be-caught? dept

Politicians are writing anti-spyware bills like they launched Enron investigations: fast and furious. And with similar results (none). Typically, the proposed legislation criminalizes spyware and tries to define that crime. The latest tack against spyware comes from U.S. Senator George Allen, whose new bill creates stiffer penalties rather than new laws. The senator is of the opinion that existing laws are adequate to corral spyware, but authorities lack the resources to go after it — a reasonable opinion shared by the FTC. Allen’s bill would let the FTC seize profits from spyware and coordinate with foreign agencies to bring down international operations. (The article doesn’t say it, but we assume the bill also provides means for beefing up the FTC’s anti-spyware resources.) While additional resources and harsher penalties would certainly help, we wonder how much. There’s still an element of spyware — like spam — staying one step ahead of the authorities. What amount of laws, litigation, technology, or education will work against that? Probably a little bit of all these things would help, but not in haste. At some point these efforts should be monitored, examined, and measured to ensure their effectiveness and avoid unintended consequences.

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Comments on “Anti-Spyware Bill Tries Yet Another Approach: It's All About The Money”

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1 Comment
bob says:


Hmm, you just gave me a good idea.

Have the FTC open an email box. Everyone who sends in spam, gets 50 cents for each piece, (includes finding a way to prevent dupe claims…) for those companies that are identified and assets seized.

FTC would get s loads of spam to trace back. FTC would seize $1 per email from the offender.

Yeah, there are problems in this, but at first glance could relatively easy to solve.

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