Debate over several proposed U.S. federal anti-spyware laws continued at the Anti-Spyware Coalition conference last week at Harvard. In a panel on public policy moderated by StopBadware's own John Palfrey, panelists from the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Federal Trade Commission disagreed on the best way forward for legislation that combats spyware.
The three potential bills at stake are the I-Spy Act and the Spy Act, both recently passed in the House, and the Counter Spy Act, recently re-introduced in the Senate after failing to pass in previous sessions. Ari Schwartz, deputy director of the CDT, said that the CDT supports all three bills, on the principle that any further clarification of the illegality of spyware is a good thing. Tracy Shapiro, an attorney at the FTC, said that the FTC feels it already has enough legal power at its disposal and that further legislation might actually cause confusion.