Washington, DC – Today, the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications will hold a hearing spyware and S 2145, the “SPY BLOCK Act”.  NetChoice Executive Director, Steve Delbianco, made the following comments in response:

“The proliferation of spyware has become a critical problem for consumers and e-commerce businesses and deserves the attention of Congress.  Spyware is surreptitiously added to computers, secretly collects information about users and their Internet use, and is often nearly impossible to remove.

The SPY BLOCK Act is an important first step toward a strong national standard that prevents these unfair and deceptive practices.  We commend Senators Wyden and Burns for focusing on these critical problems and making the requirements of notice, choice and removal explicit. 

In addition, we call on the Senate to protect consumers and businesses from the patchwork of poorly written state spyware laws that threaten the future of e-commerce and safety online.  Under a recently passed Utah spyware bill, for example, child protection software would become regulated and subject to unlimited lawsuits.  The Senate should include state preemption language to remove this growing patchwork of state laws.

To further improve the bill’s effectiveness, we encourage the Senate to include additional enforcement resources at the state and federal level to aggressively pursue the worst offenders.”