The Legality of Spyware
The internet has become a large part of our lives today. With the use of the internet growing comes a growing number of problems with service. One of these major problems is spyware. According to Wikipedia “spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on computers, and which collects small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.” This essay will address the problem that is spyware and try to pose an answer to the question of whether or not spyware should be made illegal. The issue of spyware has been around for some time now. It can be quite a nuisance and at times it can be hard to prevent or avoid. Whether or not spyware can be seen as illegal has yet to be completely imbedded in law. According to an article from USA Today “a federal trial court in Chicago has ruled recently that the ancient legal doctrine of trespass to chattels (meaning trespass to personal property) applies to the interference caused to home computers by spyware.” In other words courts are implementing historical doctrines in order to prosecute any persons participating in malicious internet happenings such as spyware distribution. This idea of implementing historical doctrines have yet to really catch on though. For example in the case Sotelo v. DirectRevenue the defendant DirectRevenue was able to have the courts dismiss the charges. One would think most will agree that spyware should be made illegal. Its intrusive nature would in way seem to describe it as an illegal act. There are ways of deterring or slowing down spyware but even some of these forms of protection have come into...
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