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FTC Launches War Against Spyware Distributors

Outrageous penalties are fine, but perhaps the greatest deterrent against spyware dealers is imprisoning them, recommended a federal regulator to congressmen, as per reports in the April 10, 2007 issue of News.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commissioners went to the Senate on April 10, to appear in front of the Senate Commerce Committee. Throughout the assessment, the commissioners described in detail their agency's achievements in the recent past and requested a larger budget to carry on their crusade hereafter. Moreover, the agency has an excellent way of functioning: it keeps tracking spammers, spyware operators, and pretexters. Regrettably, it is able to track only a smattering of these perpetrators.

Deborah Platt Majoras, FTC's Chairwoman assured that over the past few years, the Commission has filed lawsuit against 11 spyware providers. During the query, immediately after the hearing, Mark Pryor, Democrat leader from Arkansas informed the commissioners that the spyware was "an actual cause of nuisance for my family, my voters, my workplace," as issued by Arstechnica's April 11, 2007 edition.

In spite of the outbreak of spyware that causes annoyance to users of almost all age groups and classes, the FTC has targeted roughly 5.5 spyware providers annually. Amongst its remarkable victories, was the latest $1.5 million penalty against Direct Revenue that's expected to instill some terror into other US-located adware firms.

According to William Kovacic, the Federal Trade Commissioner "Majority of the criminals in the spyware field can just be identified as malevolent gangs. Some of hardcore criminals found in this field can be prevented if their independence is taken away," thus it's essential for the FTC to team up with criminal law enforcement agencies in its lawsuits, as reported in News' April 10, 2007 edition.

The aim of April 10's inquiry committee which included four congressmen --was to let the FTC commissioners inform the Senate on their development and to ask for $240 million allocation in next budget -- a rise of $17 million from previous year. The occasion witnessed the presence of all five FTC commissioners before the committee, quite some time after an identity theft inquiry in June 2005.

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

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