Spyware Solutions Not So Simple

FTC, the tech industry and some consumer groups say new legislation would create more problems than it solves.

A new bill in Congress would require clear and conspicuous notice by companies attempting to load software to a computer. But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the technology industry and even some consumer groups believe the legislation would create more problems than it solves.

"If we cast too big a net, well actually do harm to products and services that are well-meaning and well-intended and have a good, legitimate purpose for security as well as for fraud protection," Ken Silva, vice president for networks and security at VeriSign Inc., told a group a congressional staffers studying the issue this week. Silva said legislation being considered by Congress would cover less obvious things like automatic downloads for patches to operating systems or automatic updates for anti-virus software.

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