Summary: S.2145 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (11/19/2004)

Software Principles Yielding Better Levels of Consumer Knowledge Act or SPY BLOCK Act - (Sec. 2) Makes it unlawful for a person who is not an authorized user of a protected computer (any computer used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication) (unauthorized person) to cause the installation on that computer of software designed to: (1) conceal from the authorized user (user) the fact that such software is being installed; or (2) prevent the user from granting or withholding consent to the installation. Provides exceptions. Makes it unlawful to provide to an authorized user materially false or misleading inducements to install such software. Prohibits the installation of software designed to prevent reasonable efforts to uninstall or disable such software after it has been installed, with an exception with respect to software designed for one authorized user, such as a parent or system administrator.

(Sec. 3) Makes it unlawful for an unauthorized person to install on a protected computer software that collects information about the user's Internet browsing or other computer use and then transmits such information to another person if: (1) the information collected is not related to or in support of a normal software capability or function; and (2) there has been no reasonable notification to the authorized user of the such installation.

(Sec. 4) Makes it unlawful for an unauthorized person to install on a protected computer software that causes advertisements to be displayed to the user: (1) at a time when the user is not accessing a website or online service operated by the publisher of that software; and (2) in a manner in which the user would not understand that the software is responsible for delivering the advertisements.

(Sec. 5) Makes it unlawful for an unauthorized person to: (1) utilize the computer to send unsolicited information to other computers; (2) divert a user's Internet browser away from its intended site to one or more other websites; (3) display an advertisement or other content in such a manner that the user cannot end such display without turning off the computer or terminating all Internet sessions; or (4) covertly modify settings relating to the use of the computer or the computer's access to the Internet.

(Sec. 6) Provides exceptions from liability under this Act with respect to providers of: (1) passive transmission, hosting, or linking; and (2) network security.

(Sec. 7) Provides for administration and enforcement through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

(Sec. 8) Authorizes civil enforcement actions by States, with authorized FCC intervention.

(Sec. 10) Amends the Federal criminal code to provide criminal penalties for accessing a protected computer to cause a computer program or code to be copied onto such computer, and then using such program or code to impair the security protection of such computer or in furtherance of another criminal offense. Provides exceptions.