No easy solution to spyware

Wednesday, 19 November 2003, 11:44 AM EST

have yet to get a handle on the best way to combat computer spyware' that tracks Internet users' online activity, a nonprofit policy group said on Tuesday.

Rather than drafting narrowly targeted legislation to outlaw specific snooping tactics, Congress should establish broad online privacy rights to protect against secret online surveillance, the Center for Democracy and Technology said.

Concern about spyware has grown over the past several years as online advertisers and song-swapping networks like Kazaa have placed programs on users' computers to monitor their activity or use their computers' processors for other activities.

Spyware can crash computers or slow their performance, and it is often difficult to ferret out. Furthermore, many users are frequently unaware that they are being monitored for commercial purposes.

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