FTC official: Let’s imprison spyware distributors

FTC official (William Kovacic) says “Let’s imprison spyware distributors”

Steep fines are nice, but one of the best weapons against spyware purveyors is locking them up, a federal regulator told senators on Tuesday.

At a morning Senate Commerce Committee hearing here, Federal Trade Commissioner William Kovacic said most wrongdoers in the spyware arena “can only be described as vicious organized criminals.”

“Many of most serious wrongdoers we observed in this area, I believe, are only going to be deterred if their freedom is withdrawn,” so it’s important for the FTC to collaborate on its cases with criminal law enforcement authorities, Kovacic said.

Kovacic’s remarks came in response to a question from Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who was presiding over Tuesday morning’s hearing, about whether the FTC is sufficiently equipped to combat the scourge of software planted surreptitiously on a user’s computer.

“It’s a real source of frustration for my constituents, my family, my office…basically anyone who has a computer,” Pryor said.

Pryor said a mouthful there … Just ask Julie Amero.


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