The bipartisan Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act of 2004, passed by a vote of 415-0, is intended to punish spyware without placing undue burdens on legitimate uses of the same or similar technology. The bill, H.R. 4661, was sponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
The new law would make a number of spyware spreaders' actions illegal. Those actions include accessing a computer without authorization or intentionally exceeding authorized access.
In addition, the law would make it a crime to cause computer code or programs to be copied onto a computer to further another federal offense; to perform identity theft; or to impair the security protections of the computer. Penalties for breaking the law would run from two to five years in prison, in addition to fines.
In addition to the penalties, the I-SPY bill allocates $10 million to the Department of Justice to combat spyware and phishing scams. "We need strong sanctions," Goodlatte said in describing the penalties.
Great!Now I don't think this will bring about an end to spyware but it is a start