Spyware Legislation Top 10

by on September 18, 2004

‘Anti-spyware’ legislation is being marked up in the Senate Commerce Committee this week. Here are the Top 10 reasons why it’s a dumb idea:

10. The lives of real consumers won’t be any better after it passes.

9. It doesn’t add any protections to existing law.

8. Preempting states prevents state legislators from learning how much harm they’re doing to their constituents with their own dumb anti-spyware laws.

7. In the future, so-called “consumer” groups and Luddite activists will use it as a sword against yet-unknown innovations.

6. Nascent software entrepreneurs, faced with yet more legal/compliance costs, will throw in the towel rather than delivering the next cool thing.

5. Requires lobbyists to pour more money into the Washington maw to protect against errant FTC interpretations and enforcements.

4. Legal ‘protections’ confuse consumers and steer them away from burgeoning market for anti-spyware tools (which actually work!).

3. Spyware writers, like spammers, don’t obey laws.

2. A bill that’s better than the House version is still not a good bill.

1. Once federal anti-spyware legislation passes, the tech lobbyists with nothing else to do will just push for another worthless law!

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