Washington, DC: The House of Representatives today passed the Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2005, H.R. 744, which was introduced by Representatives Bob Goodlatte. This bipartisan legislation, which passed by 395-1, addresses the most egregious activities that are conducted via spyware and makes those activities criminal offenses.
Spyware has been defined as "software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge and which may send such information to another entity without the consumer's consent, or asserts control over a computer without the consumer's knowledge." In April 2004, the Federal Trade Commission testified before a House Subcommittee that "spyware appears to be a new and rapidly growing practice that poses a risk of serious harm to consumers."
"I am pleased by the passage of this legislation through the House," Goodlatte said. "By imposing criminal penalties on these bad actors, this legislation will help deter the use of spyware, and will thus help protect consumers from these aggressive attacks. At the same time, the legislation leaves the door open for innovative technology developments to continue to combat spyware programs."