Adware Report: House and FTC Fight Spyware

Monday, October 11, 2004
By Roger Park, Associate Editor

The House announced it has passed an anti-spyware bill that would institute prison penalties for people convicted of installing such programs without a computer user's permission. The Federal Trade Commission also announced they have filed the first case in the country against two software companies infecting computers with spyware and then trying to sell people the cure, according to the Associated Press

The new bill, "Internet Spyware Prevention Act," gives the Justice Department $10 million to crack down on spyware companies," the AP reported.

Offenders under his bill would be sentenced for up to five years for secretly installing spyware to break into someone's computer and committing another federal crime, the AP reported.

The FTC requested a temporary restraining order from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire against Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc., Smartbot.Net, Inc., and their owner Sanford Wallace, the AP reported.

The FTC accused the companies of bombarding computer screens with pop-up ads and then luring consumers to pay $30 to fix the problem. The commission is seeking an injunction to the get the companies to stop and offer restitution to consumers, the AP reported.

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