FW: House Toughens Spyware Penalties

David Schwartz davids at webmaster.com
Fri Oct 8 22:48:42 UTC 2004


> "The bill also permits computer software providers to
> interact with a user's computer without notice and
> consent in order to determine whether the computer
> user is authorized to use the software upon
> initialization of the software or an update of the
> software."
>
> I find this aspect of the Bill objectionable, since it
> contradicts other laws, which make it illegal to break
> into a computer. There is also no guarantee that
> the person doing the snooping is above criminal intent
> and would create an operational nightmare for
> most prudent ISP/NSP organizations.

	It's really a trivial issue, because even without this provision, the
license could just say (and most do), that the software will validate your
authorization to use it. Without this provision, one could argue that using
a hidden (location undisclosed) key in the registry to keep track of a trial
start date violates the letter of the law. After all, you are storing
something on someone else's computer and you don't tell them what it is or
where it is.

	DS





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