I spy with my little eye

Tuesday, 14 September 2004, 2:48 AM EST

Last week the "Internet Spyware Prevention Act of 2004," I-SPY for short, was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee, and is now ready for consideration by the full House of Representatives. But while there is little doubt that spyware, and its kissing cousin, adware, are annoying, infuriating, and potentially invasive of privacy, before we allow legislators to jump in with the heavy club of possible jail time, security professionals need to decide not only what spyware is, but also what specific characteristics of spyware we want to outlaw.

One short definition of spyware might be a program that enters our computer without our effective knowledge or consent, is difficult or impossible to detect or remove, alone or in aggregate slows down or otherwise interferes with the operation of the computer, and collects and disseminates personal information about us to unknown third parties.

By Mark Rasch at SecurityFocus.

[ Read more ]

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