Spyblock in sight, say officials

Federal officials will continue to fight the spyware problem despite December’s setbacks, it has been revealed. The Software Principles Yielding Better Levels of Consumer Knowledge (Spyblock) Act failed to get through congress before it adjourned in September, but officials say it is only a matter of time.

Spyblock, put forward by Senator Conrad Burns, will be reintroduced by him in the 109th congress.

"The main reason for lack of movement on spyware was lack of time," said Jennifer O'Shea, a spokesperson for Burns speaking to legal news organisation Pike and Fischer. "As the session came to a close, there was so much that needed to get done, including appropriations and the intelligence bill. It mainly came down to a matter of timing, and spyware just didn't make it through."

A number of acts, including the Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (Spy Act), reintroduced on January 4 this year, are currently going through Congress.

Eugene Kaspersky, head of anti-virus research at Kaspersky said 2005 will be the year of serious clampdowns on spyware and adware. "I predict that next year advertising systems will become illegal in the US," Kaspersky said. "The legislation will also be introduced in Europe and other countries."

Adware or spyware prorams are hidden pieces of software that monitor internet trends, usually to produce targeted advertising. The recent increase in trojan viruses with 'back-door' capacities, that let other programs in, have contributed to their spread.

Senator Burns' website

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