Microsoft on the Issues: Bring Spyware Out of the Shadows

Concerted action will help consumers gain more control over the programs running on their PCs

Thanks to Congress, law-enforcement agencies may soon have stronger tools to help curb spyware.

Spyware is deceptive software that sneaks into computers, usually via the Internet. It can disrupt the operation of PCs and furtively collect personal information about their users. It has become pervasive and increasingly troublesome as the world has become more connected.

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved two different anti-spyware bills. As the Senate takes up the issue, Microsoft and many other technology companies have joined in supporting targeted legislation that would establish a strong, national standard for anti-spyware enforcement.

Microsoft favors legislation because we believe that consumers should be able to make informed decisions about the software they install on their PCs. To help ensure this, we hope Congress will include in its final bill a provision that would prevent spyware traffickers from using frivolous lawsuits to attack companies that are supplying consumers with anti-spyware tools.

Such a provision is vital because solving the spyware problem will require not only strong laws, but also energetic efforts by the private sector.”

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