Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2007 - Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization, or exceeding authorized access, by causing a computer program or code to be copied onto the protected computer, and intentionally using that program or code: (1) in furtherance of another federal criminal offense; (2) to obtain or transmit personal information (including a Social Security number or other government-issued identification number, a bank or credit card number, or an associated password or access code) with intent to defraud or injure a person or cause damage to a protected computer; or (3) to impair the security protection of that computer.
Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), introduced H.R. 1525, the Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2007, which will help Americans combat spyware and phishing scams. The bill was introduced in both the 108th and 109th Congresses, where it passed in the House, but the Senate failed to act on the legislation. This legislation addresses the most egregious activities that are conducted via spyware and makes those activities criminal offenses punishable by both imprisonment and fines.
"The Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2007 protecting Americans from internet crime while not impinging on software development," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren. "Spyware has become a plague for computer users, and Congress must address the mounting negative impact that it is having on our economy.
Americans should not be afraid to use the internet, it is an amazing resource that has fostered an epic change in the way people all over the world go about their lives. This bill will help ensure that the internet remains a place where people from all corners of the world can gather to share their ideas freely, efficiently, and safely."
"I believe that four overarching principles should guide the development of any spyware legislation," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte. "First, we must punish the bad actors, while protecting legitimate online companies. Second, we must not over-regulate, but rather encourage innovative new services and the growth of the Internet. Third, we must not stifle the free market. Fourth, we must target the behavior, not the technology.
The I-SPY Prevention Act is a targeted approach that protects consumers by imposing stiff penalties on the truly bad actors, while protecting the ability of legitimate companies to develop new and exciting products and services online for consumers."
Recent studies estimate that 90 percent of computers in this country are infected with some form of spyware. Moreover, Americans are spending $2.6 billion trying to block or remove malicious software from their computers. That figure says nothing about the lost productivity that results from stolen data and hijacked browsers. At the same time, the technology behind spyware has aspects similar to the technology responsible for the intuitive, seamless interaction with the web that consumers expect and demand.
In an age of personalized search pages and RSS feeds, the right approach to spyware must eliminate criminal behavior without criminalizing technology. The I-SPY Prevention Act takes that approach, giving law enforcement the tools it needs to fight spyware while permitting legitimate use of technology that enhances users' experience on the internet.
Read the full bill
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