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Spyware could soon be zapped

February 6, 2006
By: Josh Kranzberg
State Capital Bureau

Spyware on computers could be zapped if a Missouri lawmaker has his way.

Josh Kranzberg has more from the state Capitol.

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Representative Bryan Pratt is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to put unauthorized spyware on someone's computer.

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Contents: If you put an unauthorized spyware program on a computer, then you will be subject to criminal penalties, and the importance of that is to make sure that commercial outfits and dangerous spyware folks aren't gonna harm or slow down Missourians' computers.

Pratt added if you download a program and you authorize them to add programs with spyware, then the company would not be breaking the law.

According to a November 1998 study by AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance, 80 percent of the surveyed computer users had some form of spyware. Eighty-nine percent of people polled admitted that they didn't even know they had spyware on their computer. From Jefferson City, I'm Josh Kranzberg

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Everywhere you click, you encounter spyware on the web. But one Missouri lawmaker says he wants to click without fear of cyberspies. Josh Kranzberg has more from the state Capitol.

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Representative Bryan Pratt wants to protect Missouri's computers by making it illegal to put unauthorized spyware on someone else's computer. Pratt said the concern came from the people he represents in Jackson County

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Contents: We had a senior citizen that had just purchased a computer and just learned about the computer, and her comptuer shut down. And her computer, she took it to the store and it was fixed, and the problem with it is that someone had placed a spyware program on her computer and shut her computer down. So, I felt that that was a problem and that we needed to do soemthing about it.

Pratt proposed a similar bill last year but it never made it to the House floor. This year, Pratt hopes for a better outcome. From Jefferson City, I'm Josh Kranzberg.