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  1. #1
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Michigan Legislature to Consider Criminalizing Spyware
    I found this article when I was looking through the Detroit News site tonight:

    Spyware Legislation Being Considered in Mich

    Here's some excepts:

    Next week, the state Senate is expected to vote on bills that would make it a crime to put spyware on another's computer. Violators could face up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine, depending on the severity of the violation.
    Brings a nice new meaning to the words... "Beware, parasiteware..."

    Tim Binger recently set a record he'd just as soon forget: 15,324 pieces of spyware clogging his computer.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  2. #2
    Millionaire on training wheels Justdoit's Avatar
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    As soon as I saw this post and that it was Leader posting it I thought the headline would have been "Michigan Legislature Outlaws Snow".

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The sn*w-crazy U.P. would never allow anti-snow (and therefore anti-sno*wmobile and anti-cross-country skiing) legislation to pass, LOL! There's too much $$$ to be made from masochists...er, I mean..."tourists"...who like to play in that stuff!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Ty Leader
    That was copy and pasted into email and sent to my senators email box.

  5. #5
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Here's the actual bill http://www.legislature.mi.gov/docume...5-SIB-0151.pdf

    They seem to reallly focus on 'contexual triggers'. Nice to see some legislation that specifies protection of trademarks, domain names and the contents of a website! I did get a chuckle where it states the EULA has to be written in 'plain English.'

    I didn't read all the way through yet but they do seem to really be defining and addressing things. Cookies are excluded as being considered spyware.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    Here's the actual bill http://www.legislature.mi.gov/docume...5-SIB-0151.pdf

    They seem to really focus on 'contextual triggers'. Nice to see some legislation that specifies protection of trademarks, domain names and the contents of a website! I did get a chuckle where it states the EULA has to be written in 'plain English.'

    I didn't read all the way through yet but they do seem to really be defining and addressing things. Cookies are excluded as being considered spyware
    Kellie,

    That was what I was suggesting or at least attempting to suggest about asking the lawyer in my post in that thread. They have to be using our content on our sites to trigger the pops. I think it's pretty much been decided that the spyware is on the visitors computer and popping up on their computer, not our sites. But in order to trigger the pop-ups and redirects and cookie setting they are actually using our content which would seem like some kind of violation. I'm not good at typing things out so I don't know if I make sense or not Either way it's nice to see a some kind of legislation to get things going.

  7. #7
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Packy,

    You're not so bad at typing things out. Unfortunatley, "would seem to be a violation" and actually being a violation because there needs to be some actual law against the specific behavior is worlds apart. We are just now seeing some legislation coming onto the books and addressing the behaviors of these applications to varying degrees. My take is that one of the reasons we saw the initial suits which have been filed related to adware focus on things like copyright infringement itself (an obviously less than effective claim in winning a suit) is because there weren't any specific laws in place to address the behaviors.

    It is good to see some legislation being put forth which seems to really address several areas of the behaviors many of us here have been 'ranting' about for quite some time. At least on an initial skimming of the bill it covers quite a bit of ground aside from the contextual triggers such as understandable and truthful EULA, uninstall methods, user consent and what information is transmitted back to the adware servers to name a few.

    Of course enforcement of any such legislation that goes onto the books will be an issue (as with the CANSPAM law) but at least there are laws going into place and it's the first step that has to happen. Let's just hope that whatever comes down on the Federal level won't be a watered down meaningless for us (ie addressing primarily only true spyware like keyloggers) as compared to what some States are putting forth now.

    This Bill does read like there was input from folks who have knowledge in what many of these applications are doing. Maybe the Senator has been biten a few times himself.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Unasked for Infestations on both the senators own office & home systems, plus Gov. Jenifer Granholm's home system was part of the paperwork submitted. Add in the Attorney Generals cybercrime units testing system results and the triggering and popups generated from the donated Cybermall network links opened some eyes too. They followed some money trails, infestation and re-infestation practices and looked for priivacy info and Identity theft peddling to go along with e-mail address pilfering. They sure did read through online resources an the subject, like Ben's articles, and content in Anti-Spyware sites trying to understand how crapware spreads to 91% of all Net connected systems and look at backdoor viruses teamed up with Adware operators.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  9. #9
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    The Michigan bill is definitely one of the better bills currently under consideration. Note summaries of (what I believe to be) all state bills about spyware on my site: http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/legislation/

    Kellis, as to enforcement: Most of the bills give enforcement rights only to state AGs. Not so for Michigan, though. Michigan's bill would create a private right of action -- so anyone harmed by violations can bring suit. That's certainly the approach I favor; recall my criticism of e.g. the proposed federal HR29 for precisely this flaw (among others).
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; March 5th, 2005 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Keyword stuffing

  10. #10
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    Ben,

    After scanning your page at:

    http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/legislation/

    it occurs to me that you should be in Washington, D.C.
    after you get your Ph.D.

    RadarCat, Webmaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Smile
    Harvard sensitivities aside ...We'll vote to give him the first job pulling the electric chair switch at a Federal prison reserved just for un-reformable Adwhores. This Politically Correct term isn't gender specific, nor does it care about race -creed or sexual preference.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  12. #12
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    We'll vote to give him the first job pulling the electric chair switch at a Federal prison reserved just for un-reformable Adwhores.
    I want to put my name forward for this job, I will do it for nothing.
    My qualifications are,
    I have had many sales stolen by these scum,
    I know very little about electricity but I know how to flip a switch
    I hate parasites with a vengance
    I hate even more Lawyers who pretend to do good things for charity and the public when all they are doing is stealing from us and lining their own pockets.

    I would gladly do it for nothing, in fact I will pay themto let me do it

    Please give me the job.
    I promise to do a perfect job of killing the scum.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You'd have to ditch the dress Gordo.... or shave your legs.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  14. #14
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    OK it will be worth it Mike LOL
    Do I get the job if I shave my legs AND drop the dress? LOL
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  15. #15
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I couldn't trust someone with a liberal Harvard education to get the job done Gordo. So I'll not paint you the typical Canadian, considering your British stiff upperlip background, and put your resume on top and in front of GWB's new congressional oversight committee.... The Truth in Affiliate Advertising committee (TAA). Ignor the committees nick-name Gordo ... Tits And A** committee... as the Adwhores lobbists are the Janets (Reno & Jackson) plus Opra, with the inside Capital Hill influences from Hillory Clinton and the always ethical Ted Kennedy.

    Important question is do you have one of those black hoods and harry legs & back of the typical "off with their heads" executioner so hyped in the Monty Python shows??? On the Job appearence is everything.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  16. #16
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    "I couldn't trust someone with a liberal Harvard education to get the job done Gordo."

    Sounds more like a personal problem that you have Mike.

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I grew out of my own liberal Anti-everything hippie days at University of Michigan in the 60's. Guess those 14 months in Vietnam, and lucky return trip home, broadened my mind.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  18. #18
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I would chop off their heads and put them on display on a pole in the town square until all the flesh dropped off then I'd grind the skull down and use it for fertiliser LOL
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador
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    "I couldn't trust someone with a liberal Harvard education to get the job done Gordo."

    Didn't President Bush go to Harvard.

  20. #20
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I think he's baiting you Mike LOL
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    This is the new improved asexual and non-political Webmaster Mike model Gordo.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Ben,

    Where is Florida in all this list: benedelman.org/spyware/legislation

    You tell me we are not doing anything, yet.

    Since you might have closer reach, call any of my local House Reps: 3 are attorneys and tell them to call me, I will be glad to show them on their computer what you and all of us are talking about.

    In my many visits to attorney and real estate clients offices to remove viruses and pop-ups, I helped many of these local businesses stay in business, even through the Chamber of Commerce, so I am sure they will be glad to hear from me to save their computer from disaster and also will give themselfs some much needed spot light.

    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/repres...9&sessionID=38
    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/repres...6&sessionID=38
    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/repres...7&sessionID=38
    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/repres...5&sessionID=38
    http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/repres...7&sessionID=38


  23. #23
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    It's true that Florida hasn't proposed anti-spyware legislation, at least not of which I am aware. Though note that you may be better off without new anti-spyware legislation than with weak legislation like what's been passed in California and proposed in nearly a dozen other states (near-exact copies of CA's law). It's not as if a copy of the CA law would do you or Florida consumers much good.

    See my site for analysis -- especially California's Toothless Spyware Law.

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    I agree, the CA law does no good if it does not penalize the likes of Claria. I'm all for the consumer side of adware removal and protection.

    Start calling Florida and show them the Michigan bill. I think Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the Commerce, Trade & Consumer Protection Subcommittee might be a start as he was one of the originals at the first hearings. http://www.house.gov/stearns/PressRe...9-spyware.html

    "This is not the enemy at the gate; it's already through the gate, in the front door of our homes, and lurking on our personal computers." Cliff Stearns
    http://www.house.gov/stearns/PressRe...9-spyware.html

  25. #25
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Talking
    Maybe Fla. is waiting on some State to come up with something with teeth in it. Darn cheapskates there combined with Jeb trying to paint himself as a fiscal conservative, makes me think they support Michigan's statutes without spending a buck. Too many Michiganders down there with internet online money to spend for them not to adopt the Mi. Plan.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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