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Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law.
October 10th 2004, 22:23 CEST by yotsuya

Bill Imposes Prison Time Over 'Spyware'
 
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House on Thursday passed the second bill in three days that would outlaw "spyware," irritating software that quietly monitors the activities of Internet users.

It would add penalties of up to five years in prison for people convicted of installing such programs without a computer user's permission.

The bill, known as the "Internet Spyware Prevention Act," passed 415-0. It would give the Justice Department $10 million to crack down on companies and others that secretly install spyware and those who attempt to trick victims into disclosing personal details and financial information in e-mail scams popularly known as "phishing."

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said such problems were growing and serious. Offenders under his bill would be sentenced for up to five years for secretly installing spyware to break into someone's computer and commiting another federal crime.

Anyone caught installing spyware to change a computer's security settings or steal a victim's personal information - such as an e-mail address, telephone number or bank account number - could be sentenced up to two years in prison.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said spyware was "quickly becoming one of the biggest threats to consumers on the Internet." She cited estimates that up to 90 percent of computers contain some forms of spyware. Lofgren said her daughter was recently victimized by electronic thieves in a phishing scam, persuading her in a forged e-mail to disclose personal information.

"Her thumb hit the send button and she thought, 'Oh, my goodness, what have I done!' We had to call and cancel all the credit cards and the like," Lofgren said. "This is something that preys upon people."

The House on Tuesday voted 399-1 to pass the "Spy Act," sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., which would add hefty civil penalties over the use of spyware.

Lawmakers were widely expected to combine both proposals for a final vote by year's end.

---

The House bill passed Wednesday is H.R. 4661. The related bill approved Tuesday is H.R. 2929.
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Home » Topic: Breakin' the Law, Breakin' the Law.

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#1 by Matt Perkins
2004-10-10 22:26:42
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
I imagine this will be REALLY hard to enforce as most spyware is mentioned in the EULA or notice when it installs.

"She told me to tell you to quit being such an anal-retentive pussy."- Ergo
#2 by Hieronymus
2004-10-10 22:27:06
Sounds good to me, but it's not clear that this is enforceable.
#3 by lwf
2004-10-10 22:34:26
Have they thought of making terrorism illegal? This seems to be a really effective way of stopping things from happening.

My hell comes from inside.
#4 by Max
2004-10-10 22:35:25
http://massivebraincase.org/
Spyware is bad, mmmkay?  How 'bout them Patriots?

Yeah it is pretty much going to be the best email account ever. -Your Friend
Check your FSI!
#5 by m0nty
2004-10-10 23:02:25
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Tom Brady sucked, but still threw two TDs. Asshole!
#6 by Max
2004-10-10 23:03:55
http://massivebraincase.org/
Also, does everyone already know about Google SMS?  Cool tools.

Yeah it is pretty much going to be the best email account ever. -Your Friend
Check your FSI!
#7 by Gunp01nt
2004-10-10 23:32:21
supersimon33@hotmail.com
irritating software that quietly monitors the activities of Internet users

Huh? If it quietly monitors my activities, how can it be irritating? Which begs the question: are they after the privacy-infringing stuff rather than the agitation-inducing Bonzi Buddy et al?

There is no subliminal message enclosed in this signature
#8 by jafd
2004-10-10 23:47:24
It passed 415-0? Does the secret rider include wage increases for all House members and guaranteed oral sex?

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#9 by G-Man
2004-10-11 01:42:33
This ties in with a topic I have been working on for a while but apparently will never finish, so I am hijacking this thread to do a braindump of it:

One of the wonderful things about going to law school is that you learn how our political system works in great detail. And because of that you also learn that the way in which our government functions has changed dramatically since its inception. Most people don't believe that anything really changes or that significant change can occur within a lifetime, and are apathetic as a result. I know that major changes take place all the time and that individuals can affect them with nothing more than their mind and heart (and money).

For example, the way presidental elections worked as laid out in the Constitution was that the candidate who received the most votes in the Electoral College would become President and the runner-up would become Vice President. In the early 1800s Congress and the States changed that. Another example is the way that the Supreme Court allowed the Federal government to exert tremendous power over the States through extreme expansion of the Commerce, Tax and Spending Clauses of Article I.

One of the things that the Court's liberal interpretation of the Commerce clause has resulted in is the creation of an enormous Federal Penal Code with jurisdiction to match it. As late as the 1950s the Federal government had no authority to prosecute local crimes. The old adage was that unless you crossed State lines with your kidnapping victim, your getaway car, or your drugs, etc., the Feds couldn't touch you. Now we live in a completely different world. Anything and everything is a federal crime and is readily enforceble by a variety of administrative entities. If I rob someone of ten dollars in Podunk, Ohio and do nothing more, that could be a Federal offense and I can be investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by US Attorneys in Federal Court for it. Many of you might think of this as a good thing, but consider that by allowing the Federal government to criminalize purely local actitivies you are robbing the States of the ability to govern themselves the way they see fit. For example, some States believe that drug possession should be criminalized differently than other States, but the Federal government can elect to enforce its tougher laws in these States in effect overruling the will of its citizens.

Similarly, the Federal government is constantly coercing States to adopt legislation it provides through the use of the Spending Clause. Congress merely dangles additional funding before State legislators' eyes or threatens to reduce additional funding and the States roll over and pass any laws that the Federal government wants. And don't even get me started on how our 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendment rights have been eroded in the last 30 years (although this is actually cyclical it seems) as a result of the war on drugs and the concomitant militarization of law enforcement.

Lest you think that all the major changes happened a long time ago and that we now live in a stable system of government let me talk about some of the more recent changes that have taken place. In 1982 Congress decided to establish an additional judicial Circuit Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This was a grand experiment at a time when many such experiments were being made. Law professors, economists, and academics of various stripes had banded together around a number of problems they perceived in the operation of the government and heavily lobbied State and Federal legislators to get their "fixes" put into place. It was a time of great optimism. The Federal Circuit was established to (among other things) centralize the appeals of patent, copyright and trademark cases to address the problem of inconsistent verdicts. There are many people who now see it as a failure since the verdicts have been just as inconsistent as ever, largely depending on the makeup of the three judge panels more than any other factor.

Around the same time, Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 and created the United States Sentencing Commission with the goal of creating uniform sentencing "guidelines" in order to combat the perceived evil of inconsistent sentencing within the Federal courts. After twenty years of protest from lawyers, judges, and activists, the sentencing guidelines seem to be on verge of finally going away.

Patent, trademark and copyright law have also undergone radical changes recently. The patentability of business methods and software, the extension of copyright terms, the passage of legislation such as the DMCA and the Induce Act to sidestep copyright law (coupled with the adoption of encryption technology by copyright holders), the rise of the doctrine of dilution in trademark law, etc., are all examples of major changes in the way that our society deals with intellectual property disputes.

In short, the world changes. Often. And not always for the better. Right now I feel that our country is changing very rapidly for the worse, and that within ten or fifteen years these changes will result in widespread disgruntlement among the populace and a decrease in our economic growth and vitality. This isn't a Titor-esque warning and the impact of these changes will hardly be so dire as to be comparable to the specter of war but they will change the way our society functions in a significant way.

(Part two to be written later - but the problem is the adoption of technology which allows near perfect enforcement of laws online and improved enforcement of laws offline - i.e. Induce Act, DMCA, NGSC/Palladium, low copy DNA testing, GPS tracking, RFID, ubiquitous computing, etc., will change the way we function as a society because we will no longer be able to get away with crimes/violate rights of others the way we are accustomed to, and in fact depend on. The ultimate point is that perfect enforcement of any law is inadvisable and leads to inefficiency.)
#10 by yotsuya
2004-10-11 01:55:21
The thing that caught my eye with the article (and what I wanted to discuss) was the fact that it mostly mentioned spyware used for illegal activities and not your typical irritating spyware. Is there/should there be a specific difference between the two?

All is right with the world, as long as you're gettin' some.
 -LittleWood
I wear my sunglasses at night.
#11 by m0nty
2004-10-11 02:04:16
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Reading G-Man's rant, I had a sudden vision of him impersonating Bob Dylan in the video for Subterranean Homesick Blues, standing in front of a camera with a bunch of big cards in his hand and revealing them one by one.
#12 by Wudi
2004-10-11 02:15:09
That's a cool video.

Zep--

Inverted Mouse 4 Life, YO!
#13 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-10-11 02:23:39
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
#9 by G-Man

Right now I feel that our country is changing very rapidly for the worse, and that within ten or fifteen years these changes will result in widespread disgruntlement among the populace and a decrease in our economic growth and vitality.


I think that even less time might be needed for the disgruntlement in the USA, depending on whether the booming asian economies continue to boom. As you said yourself in another thread, "there have to be winners and losers."

"Warez non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"
#14 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 02:45:47
So I just finished Curse of Monkey Island again after having to order a copy off of freakin' ebay because I lost mine.  Anyway, it's even funnier than I remembered it from my last play through (which was several years ago), and it's chock-full of Disney and Disney Parks related jokes.  CHOCK FULL, I TELL YOU.  Even the ending bit after the credits is a direct Disney joke.

Anyway, I vow not to lose it again so that it can be replayed at least once a year as I do with Monkey Island 1 and 2.  Escape....well, once was enough, I think.  In desperation while I waited for my copy of Curse to get here, I installed Escape and was going to play through it again....but couldn't.

This has been the Jeet Update for Sunday, October 10, 2004.  Thank you, and God bless.

*I'm Uncle Double-Ya Jeet, and I approved this message.

no, No, NO!
#15 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-10-11 02:53:08
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
You either played it using this, or you are going to bash your head against the wall. The scummvm engine actually smooths the jaggies, letting you crank the resolution up a bit and it makes games look (almost) as good as you remember them.

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#16 by gaggle
2004-10-11 03:44:18
Thanks Gman, interesting read I think. And, might I add, asshole-free.


And as for the whole illigalizing spyware thing, I'm happy that the laws are catching up, but I can't help agree with.. some other poster, that what exactly constitues spyware is a somewhat vague area. It smells like overreacting.


Also, I found Sky Captain And The World of Tomorrow a marvelous wonderful movie. Totally dug it.


Also-also, I just saw the Developer Interview linked at the bottom of this page (BioShock interview), and the way he describes the game just makes it sound horrible I think. Imo Irrational will one day realise (hopefully sooner than later) that too much focus on simulations and emergent gameplay makes for unfocused and sloppy gameplay, and they'll end up tuning down the fancy emergent bells and whistles and implement proper fun.

To be, turn to page 73 - from choose your own adventure Hamlet
#17 by G-Man
2004-10-11 03:47:17
Also Jeet, you should have just bittorrented it.
#18 by zimbardo_ugly
2004-10-11 03:51:10
zimbardo_ugly@hotmail.com
HIAL, so he knows. You already paid for it once, man!

Rot-corpse Sumatran art amuses proctor.
#19 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 04:00:17
I pirate nothing - not even a pirate game!*

*Of course, that didn't stop me from pestering certain Crappers to upload it to me....to no avail....but only because I do have a legit copy around here....somewhere....

Also, I didn't know ScummVM would work on Curse, not that it matters.  I prefer the jaggies.  I play ALL of my old games via DOSBox if they don't work natively in XP, which Curse does (although in compatibility mode).  I like the experience to be authentic to how I remember it, blemishes and all.

Oh, and I played the Bloodrayne 2 demo that on the latest Xbox magazine disc....and I find it a sad comment on, well, everything that it lacks any realtime shadowing.  This, the sequel to the game that was SUPPOSED to be the sequel to Nocturne....it breaks the heart.

no, No, NO!
#20 by jafd
2004-10-11 04:01:41
#16 gaggle
the way he describes the game just makes it sound horrible I think. Imo Irrational will one day realise (hopefully sooner than later) that too much focus on simulations and emergent gameplay makes for unfocused and sloppy gameplay, and they'll end up tuning down the fancy emergent bells and whistles and implement proper fun.

I volunteer to hold his arms while the rest of you punch him.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#21 by Squeaky
2004-10-11 04:29:12
Jafd: is that Antonio Puss in Boots?

Quit your bitching, fucknut.
Return of the DVDs
#22 by Your Friend
2004-10-11 04:53:43
Team America sucked.  Proving once again that Stone & Parker really shouldn't try doing anything other than South Park.

#23 by BobJustBob
2004-10-11 05:09:11
/me punches gaggle

Dood.
#24 by Funkdrunk
2004-10-11 06:10:08
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
I found my missing copies of Master of Magic and Magic Carpet 2 today.

I am complete again.

Funk.

and like a nerd I'll make you say he's superb.
#25 by jafd
2004-10-11 06:11:05
what are you using to get magic carpet 2 to run under XP?

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#26 by Funkdrunk
2004-10-11 06:13:30
jflavius@bellatlantic.net
I haven't got that far yet.  I just installed MoM under DosBox.  I'm testing it now, and I'll move onto trying Magic Carpet next.  If I can't get it to work, I have an old Win 98 box that I can play it on (I hope).

Funk

and like a nerd I'll make you say he's superb.
#27 by Comothinon
2004-10-11 06:26:20
MoM works fine under XP as long as you don't want to run it with sound. Just remember to set up a .pif with the EMS (or was it XMS - I can't remember) set to 4 or more MB.

If you want sound most people seem to recommend using VDMSound instead of DOSBox. I spent a total of about 1.3 minutes trying to get MoM's sound working with VDMSound, but couldn't be bothered (I did get SOME sounds working, but not all). That said, I find DOSBox to be a total ass for running most DOS games.
#28 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:30:08
Regarding "emergent gameplay" vs. a tightly designed experience....there's something to be said for both, but ONLY when either is done well.  Emergent gameplay is just easier to fuck up, that's all.  You can only code in so much "freedom" in a game, and unless you do a really good job of giving the player the illusion of freedom, you're fucked.  Then again, if a tightly designed scripted game does a good enough job providing that illusion, then it's done the same job just as well.

In other words, there's no such thing (currently) as emergent gameplay in anything other than sandbox type sims, and even then it's limited.  The only time we'll ever get true emergent gameplay is when we're all on our personal holodecks enjoying a simulation run by the fastest computers the world has ever known.  That's assuming, of course, that we're not all just fucking Kate Beckinsale in various settings....

no, No, NO!
#29 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:31:04
I've not had a single problem running DOSBox games WITH sound.  It's really pretty simple, if you spend half a second looking at the .conf file.

no, No, NO!
#30 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:33:36
Oh, and I'll go ahead and supply my supporting example of what I just talked about: Deus Ex.

Also, the demo for the new Conker game is kind of fun.  Oddly enough, it's done the best job of any game, so far, of copying the opening to Saving Private Ryan.

no, No, NO!
#31 by Max
2004-10-11 06:34:01
http://massivebraincase.org/
I like how a reasoned discussion of gameplay types can reasonably be followed by the phrase, "fucking Kate Beckinsale."

Yeah it is pretty much going to be the best email account ever. -Your Friend
Check your FSI!
#32 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:36:26
I think any discussion can reasonably be followed up by that phrase.  I mean, come on....have you seen Underworld?  Apparently there were some goings-on involving vampires or werewolves or something or other, but mostly it was skin tight vinyl and the aforemention thespian.

no, No, NO!
#33 by BobJustBob
2004-10-11 06:37:35
Regarding "emergent gameplay" vs. a tightly designed experience....there's something to be said for both, but ONLY when either is done well.  Emergent gameplay is just easier to fuck up, that's all.


Wrong.

Dood.
#34 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:37:54
Poor Outlander.

no, No, NO!
#35 by BobJustBob
2004-10-11 06:39:58
Poor Stranger.

Dood.
#36 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:40:48
My guns trump your sword of +3 loathing.  Bitch.

no, No, NO!
#37 by BobJustBob
2004-10-11 06:41:39
I was playing Future Tactics earlier, and it had a character named Stranger. He was a lot cooler than that pussy from Nocturne.

Dood.
#38 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:47:25
Them's fightin' words, pilgrim.

no, No, NO!
#39 by BobJustBob
2004-10-11 06:48:14
He was ME FROM TEH FUTAR!

Dood.
#40 by Max
2004-10-11 06:49:33
http://massivebraincase.org/
Bob Titor?

Yeah it is pretty much going to be the best email account ever. -Your Friend
Check your FSI!
#41 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 06:53:08
Heaven help us.

no, No, NO!
#42 by BobJustBob
2004-10-11 06:59:37
The price of stamps will climb ever higher.

Dood.
#43 by jafd
2004-10-11 07:31:14
I suspect that Jeet is working from a different definition of "emergent gameplay" than everyone else.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#44 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 07:35:58
That's a distinct possibility.  I suspect, however, that the definition of "emergent gameplay" that most people are thinking of is the GTA3 type.  I'm sorry to say that "get in car, do crime, evade police, repeat" is not entirely freeform gaming.  The game does a great job of giving you the illusion, however, of freedom....but then, that would be exactly what I am talking about, wouldn't it?

no, No, NO!
#45 by jafd
2004-10-11 07:41:43
I see that I was correct.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#46 by UncleJeet
2004-10-11 07:44:27
Well, I guess that everyone could be thinking about Morrowind's approach, but that way lies bad, boring, hopeless gaming....

no, No, NO!
#47 by G-Man
2004-10-11 07:48:24
I think Jeet should stop talking about designing games when it is clear that he hasn't even thought about designing games first.
#48 by jafd
2004-10-11 07:50:57
The only thing that emerged out of Morrowind were turtle-heads.

"You've just defined what's rude for everyone, not just you. Thanks, I needed help with that." - Matt P
#49 by Your Friend
2004-10-11 08:01:15
Christopher Reeve died.  Much sadder than Rodney "old & not funny" Dangerfield passing.

#50 by G-Man
2004-10-11 08:38:07
#49 Your Friend
Christopher Reeve died.  Much sadder than Rodney "old & not funny" Dangerfield passing.

Did he fall off of another horse? I mean wtf? What could he die of, he just sits around all day?
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