How We Are Making the Internet Safer (Rep. Bob Goodlatte)

To help people stay safer on the Internet, I recently introduced the Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act which addresses the most sinister activities conducted with the help of spyware and makes those activities criminal offenses. This bipartisan legislation has overwhelmingly passed the House in the previous two Congresses but the Senate has failed to act on it.

Software is deemed "spyware" when it is installed secretly by devious individuals and performs additional functions of which the user is unaware. A recent study done by the National CyberSecurity Alliance revealed that over 90% of consumers had some form of spyware on their computers and most consumers were not aware of it.

The I-SPY Prevention Act is a targeted approach that protects consumers by imposing stiff penalties on the truly bad actors, while protecting the ability of legitimate companies to develop new and exciting products and services online for consumers.

Just as we would expect a burglar to face criminal charges for invading a home and stealing property, we should expect the same from people who break into our computers to gather personal information.