"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

May 04, 2005

Anti-Spam Boxer

She's the greatest:

Dear Friend:

If you have used a personal computer connected to the Internet, you have probably dealt with “spyware.” Spyware is any software that covertly gathers information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits the information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers. It can also significantly hamper the performance of a personal computer.

Spyware is a malicious marketing tool that often does damage to the performance and security of personal computers. Americans who use and work with the Internet every day should not be at the mercy of those who transmit spyware. That is why I have joined in introducing the Spy Block Act, S. 687, in the U.S. Senate, which would regulate the unauthorized installation of computer software, and require clear disclosure to computer users of computer software features that may pose a threat to user privacy.

The Spy Block Act makes it unlawful for a person to install software on a computer without the consent of the authorized operator and prohibits false or misleading representations about the installation of software that cannot be uninstalled or disabled through usual program removal functions. It also prohibits the installation of unauthorized software that collects personal information about computer users or the installation of advertisement software without a means of identifying the software source.

For computer users, this legislation will provide some relief to the myriad of problems posed by spyware. I will be working with my Senate colleagues to pass this bill to establish a basis for fair business practices for Internet users. If you have any questions about this or any other matter, I encourage you to contact me.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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