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House O.K.s Two Spyware Bills for Senate to Sort Out

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"Let the Senate figure it out" seems to have been the approach of the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday when it approved two anti-spyware bills after a brief debate, reports CNET. The two bills take separate approaches: fines for the creators of malicious code, and imprisonment for those who intentionally impairs a computer's security. The House vote has essentially handed the ball to the Senate, which has been considering spyware legislation in recent months but is not ready to take action yet.

H.R. 29, sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., would create complex regulations overseen by the FTC, and would punish offenders with fines for browser hijacking, modifying bookmarks, collecting personal information without permission and disabling security mechanisms - up to $3 million per incident.

H.R. 744, sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., is a one-page bill that outlines prohibitions and attendant felony penalties, including six-digit fines and imprisonment.

Last year, the House approved a spyware bill but the Senate did not act on it. In the meantime, some states and the federal government have sued alleged spyware makers.

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