FTC Wants More Power To Fine Spyware Companies

from the a-little-punishment-could-be-useful dept

While the FTC has gone after some spyware/malware providers, they’re somewhat limited by current laws over how much they can fine those companies. That’s why we’ve seen stories of such firms getting fines that are a tiny fraction of the actual money they made. Now, the FTC is pushing Congress to change the laws to give the FTC the ability to actually punish these firms with large fines, rather than just being able to go after profits. The article linked here frames it as a debate over whether or not Congress should pass anti-spyware laws, but why can’t the FTC use current laws concerning deceptive marketing techniques to punish these firms? Does it really need a special separate law that tries to define spyware?

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Comments on “FTC Wants More Power To Fine Spyware Companies”

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11 Comments
Anonymous of Course says:

Re: Re:

Those evil republicans!

I’m glad the party that brought us
such fine fellows as Huey P Long
and splendid organizations like the
KKK, not to mention the dixiecrats,
is not susceptible to such bribery.

Both parties are more crooked than
a dog’s hind leg and care for nothing
except increasing their own power.
That means pandering to special
interests on both sides.

There are exceptions on both sides of
the isle. But as a rule, politicians
are whores.

Go peddle your BS troll elsewhere.

As for the FTC, if they would use the
powers they already have towards some
positive effect I’d support their request.
As it is this sounds more like an excuse.

Overcast says:

With everything you hear about the FTC, there is no way they should get more power, especially power granted specifically for them.

100% Agree – since when has the government really ‘fixed’ anything? By saying fixed – I mean, made it better, not fixed as in ‘scam’, lol

Welfare? Levees in New Orleans? Healthcare?

The free market (SpyBot, Firefox – AdBlock/NoScript, Symantec, AVG) has done FAR FAR more in dealing with spy ware than the government could ever possibly do.

Hulser says:

why can’t the FTC use current laws concerning deceptive marketing techniques to punish these firms?

That’s a very good question. The knee jerk answer is that “they’re a bunch of idiots”. But I wonder what really motivates an organization in the FTC’s position to “require” a new law that is so specifically targeted? My guess is that it’s CYA. If the FTC charged spammers under existing laws, there’d be a risk that whatever judge got the case would find that the current laws don’t apply. So then the FTC, indirectly at least, would be responsible for setting a precedent that current laws don’t apply to spammers. So, before a government organization, which is inherently conservative, would move ahead on something like this, they want a clear mandate.

Personally, I would think the current consumer laws would hold up as applying to spam, but looking at the overall situation, I can at least see some reason for why the FTC wouldn’t want to follow this path.

Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com (user link) says:

FTC's past actions show their power

Kevin Trudeau – Fined by the FTC for misleading advertising selling his weight loss books. Back in business as usual and now selling Natural Cures book and again, the FTC is trying to stop him.

Blue Hippo – (Computer Finance Company) FTC can’t stop this company that does not send computers to customers that have paid. It takes the Maryland Attorney General to sue them and then they only have to pay a $300,000 fine (after taking in millions) and a promise to take care of past complaining customers.

Just 2 examples of the power of the FTC. Bassically Zip.

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