Lofgren and Goodlatte Comment on House Passage of Spyware Legislation

September 16, 2008
Press Release

The U.S. House of Representatives today gave final approval to H.R. 5938, a cyber crime initiative which will crack down on spyware. H.R. 5938 was approved by the U.S. Senate on July 30, 2008. This legislation will now be sent to the President for his signature. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) issued the following statement:

“I’m happy that this bill is now on its way to the President’s desk,” noted Rep. Lofgren. “This legislation takes a measured and balanced approach to dealing with the growing impact of spyware on our nation’s productivity. As amended, H.R. 5938 correctly focuses on criminal behavior rather than imposing technological mandates. This legislation will give law enforcement important and much-needed tools to assist in the effort to combat increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals.”

"We are pleased that the Congress has passed legislation, H.R. 5938, which, in part, enhances federal criminal laws to combat those who use spyware to crack into consumers’ computers to steal personal information,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte. “Congress has taken the right approach to this issue and one that we have advocated through our legislation for many Congresses: a targeted approach of going after the bad actors while refraining from imposing excessive regulations on the entire online community. This is an important first step that focuses on behavior rather than technology. However, there is still work left to be done and we look forward to working to update the law even further to make sure that consumers’ computers are protected from these aggressive criminals.”

Representatives Lofgren and Goodlatte joined together earlier this Congress to introduce H.R. 1525, the Internet Spyware (I-SPY) Prevention Act, which will help Americans combat spyware and phishing scams. This legislation, which passed the House of Representatives by voice vote on May 22, 2007, addresses the most egregious activities that are conducted via spyware and makes those activities criminal offenses punishable by both imprisonment and fines. The I-SPY Prevention Act gives law enforcement the tools it needs to fight spyware while permitting legitimate use of technology that enhances users' experience on the Internet.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her seventh term in Congress representing most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. She serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. She also Chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. Congresswoman Lofgren is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation consisting of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California.