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Pratt proposes bill to regulate computer spyware

April 18, 2005
By: Meghan Kloth
State Capital Bureau

One Missouri legislator is attempting to prevent internet stalking. Meghan Kloth has more from Jefferson City.

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Jackson County Representative Bryan Pratt has proposed a bill to regulate what is unknowingly put on Missourians' personal computers.

He said the bill aims to prevent technology such as spyware from being installed without consumer consent.

Spyware programming slows down computer speed and allows outsiders to gather information about the user.

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"It's also going to help out folks in stalking situations to help try and prevent one more mechanism by which someone can be stalked. "

So far the bill doesn't contain any penalties for installing spyware without telling the consumer, but Pratt hopes to make it a criminal act. From the state Capitol, I'm Meghan Kloth.

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One Representative is trying to keep Missouri computers from freezing up. Meghan Kloth has more from Jefferson City.

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Jackson County Representative Bryan Pratt has proposed a bill to prevent the installation of spyware and adware programs on personal computers without telling consumers.

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"I don't like people putting things on my computer without my knowledge. Whether it's a big, big multi-national corporation or some individual who wants to stalk me.

These programs can cause computers to freeze up and can let outsiders track the computer user.

Computer companies are now evaluating the bill. It currently contains no penalties, but Pratt said he is working to make it a criminal act.

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"It' stuff consumers didn't ask for in the first place and that's what the real problem is."

From the state Capitol, I'm Meghan Kloth.