"This is not about eliminating just nuisances, it is about protecting the privacy and the legitimate use of computers in Alaska and getting a handle on the enormous cost these unwanted invasions are causing."
- Sen. Therriault
(JUNEAU) - Senator Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, has introduced legislation aimed at reducing the unwanted invasion of spyware on Alaskans' computers. SB 140 was drafted after an extensive review of state and national efforts under way on the issue.
"The cost and frustration caused by those who invade our home and work computers is enormous," Therriault said. "My approach toward reducing unwanted spyware is to cover ground that Congress has thus far not covered."
Spyware is any technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet, spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties.
Therriault looked at a wide range of legislation proposed in other states and chose the Utah model as a starting point for legislative consideration. "My staff located Mr. Ben Edelman, a nationally recognized expert associated with the Harvard School of Law, who specializes in the nuances of spyware operation and law. We are working with Mr. Edelman and our legal services to tailor an existing Utah statute to fit our body of law," Therriault said.
SB 140 is a complicated undertaking in several respects. The legislation must have a delicate but well-aimed counter move against spyware tactics. The law must prevent abuses but not damage legitimate companies who operate in a forthright and open manner. It is a challenge Senator Therriault is willing to undertake. "This is not about eliminating just nuisances, it is about protecting the privacy and the legitimate use of computers in Alaska and getting a handle on the enormous cost these unwanted invasions are causing."