Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205
04/13/2005 10:00 AM JUDICIARY
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE April 13, 2005 10:04 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair Senator Gene Therriault Senator Hollis French Senator Gretchen Guess MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 140 "An Act relating to spyware and unsolicited Internet advertising." HEARD AND HELD PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION BILL: SB 140 SHORT TITLE: BAN INTERNET SPYWARE SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) THERRIAULT 03/10/05 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS 03/10/05 (S) L&C, JUD 03/22/05 (S) L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211 03/22/05 (S) Heard & Held 03/22/05 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 03/24/05 (S) L&C AT 2:00 PM BELTZ 211 03/24/05 (S) Moved SB 140 Out of Committee 03/24/05 (S) MINUTE(L&C) 03/29/05 (S) L&C RPT 3DP 03/29/05 (S) DP: BUNDE, DAVIS, STEVENS B 04/07/05 (S) JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205 04/07/05 (S) Scheduled But Not Heard 04/08/05 (H) JUD AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 120 04/08/05 (S) Scheduled But Not Heard 04/13/05 (H) JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205 WITNESS REGISTER Mr. Ben Edelman, Student Harvard University POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 140 Mr. Curtis Clothier, Data Processing Manager Legislative Affairs Agency Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Delivered a Powerpoint presentation on Spyware for SB 140 ACTION NARRATIVE VICE-CHAIR CHARLIE HUGGINS called the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee meeting to order at 10:04:56 AM. Present were Senators French, Therriault, Guess and Vice-Chair Huggins. SB 140-BAN INTERNET SPYWARE VICE CHAIR CHARLIE HUGGINS announced SB 140 to be up for consideration. 10:05:23 AM SENATOR GENE THERRIAULT introduced SB 140 and asked Mr. Ben Edelman to explain how Spyware works. MR. BEN EDELMAN, student, Harvard University, informed the Senate Standing Judiciary Committee Spyware has become a serious problem. Some companies do bona fide spying by tracking your email address and purchases. Users have a commercial purpose and they track what a person does on the internet for the purpose of showing pop up ads, often for competitors of the site that is being viewed. 10:08:25 AM SB 140 focuses on this type of software. Spyware pop up ads are equivalent to a Wal-Mart employee coming into a Target store and trying to get the customers to shop at Wal-Mart instead. Other Legislatures have taken up the issue, California being the most well known example. They passed a bill, which names a dozen specific tactics, which they prohibit. 10:10:33 AM There are a couple of bills pending in U. S. Congress. Representative Bono of California introduced a bill that bans bad practices. Utah passed legislation similar to SB 140 but the language should have been drafted more tightly because the Utah court ruled the bill unconstitutional. 10:12:24 AM Software companies think they do not need government oversight. Currently they are not well regulated and they want to keep it that way so their objections to legislation of any type are intense. Yahoo, for example, makes money by selling ads on websites. 10:13:42 AM SB 140 regulates unfair competition by making it illegal to design confusing pop up ads. Enforcement is entirely possible because violators are easy to find. 10:15:13 AM SENATOR THERRIAULT asked Mr. Edelman his credentials. MR. EDELMAN responded he is a student at Harvard University working for his Ph.D. on economics and finishing law school. In his spare time he tests Spyware and writes about his findings. He has served as an expert in some litigation against Spyware companies. SENATOR THERRIAULT asked Mr. Edelman to comment on the wording on Page 2, lines 11-12. MR. EDELMAN suspected the drafter was trying to get at the company who claims not to know they were purchasing the Spyware. 10:21:33 AM CURTIS CLOTHIER, data processing manager, Legislative Affairs Agency, provided an overview of Spyware. The following is a Powerpoint presentation entitled: Spyware 101. Definition of Spyware: · Software that collects personal information, or makes changes to your computer without your knowledge or consent. Occurrences of Spyware: · 2003 2 out of 100 support calls concerned Spyware. · 2005 2 out of every 5 support calls concerned Spyware · 50 % of calls to Microsoft involve Spyware. 10:23:59 AM Signs of Spyware: · Lots of pop-up ads · Homepage or other settings are changed · New toolbars appear · New icons appear on your desktop · Computer slows down How does Spyware get installed? By installing "free" software such as: Screensavers Weather info Toolbars Music sharing 10:25:27 AM SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH asked whether a person could get pop-ups without ever installing Spyware. MR. CLOTHIER answered yes. Many websites are designed to deliver pop-up ads to your computer. SENATOR THERRIAULT clarified some websites legitimately place their own pop-up ads but Spyware takes over the ads. 10:27:46 AM MR. CLOTHIER continued many websites place a cookie on your computer so it knows a little bit about you. Merely visiting a website can open the door where software is installed without your consent. 10:29:16 AM How does Spyware get installed? A lengthy "end user licensing agreement", which most people do not read, might say you cannot uninstall the Spyware. What does Spyware do? · Change computer settings · Occurs without your consent · Steals confidential information Good Software vs. Bad: Not all software that collects information is bad 10:31:41 AM How Do You Remove Spyware? · Spybot · Spy Sweeper · Ad-aware Despite all the best efforts, Spyware causes serious issues. Spyware removal is taking more time than virus removal efforts. 10:32:59 AM Solutions: · Education · Technological tools · Legislation 10:34:38 AM SENATOR HUGGINS asked what SB 140 would accomplish. MR. CLOTHIER answered SB 140 would be a signal to Spyware operators that they will be regulated. It will provide a benefit to computer users by giving them recourse. Major Spyware provider companies are listed in the NASDAQ. The major players are easy to identify. 10:38:05 AM SENATOR THERRIAULT announced his intention to have the drafter remove the finding and intent section before putting SB 140 before a vote. There being no further business to come before the committee, Vice-Chair Huggins adjourned the meeting at 10:39:38 AM.