Oklahoma Gazette – 4-5-2006:

It’s supposed to protect you from predators spying on your computer habits, but a bill Microsoft Corp. helped write for Oklahoma will open your personal information to warrantless searches, according to a computer privacy expert and a state representative.

Called the “Computer Spyware Protection Act,” House Bill 2083 would create fines of up to a million dollars for anyone using viruses or surreptitious computer techniques to break on to someone’s computer without that person’s knowledge and acceptance, according to the bill’s state Senate author, Clark Jolley.

However…

If you click that “accept” button on the routine user’s agreement, the proposed law would allow any company from whom you bought upgradable software the freedom to come onto your computer for “detection or prevention of the unauthorized use of or fraudulent or other illegal activities in connection with a network, service, or computer software, including scanning for and removing computer software prescribed under this act.”

That means that Microsoft (or another company with such software) can erase spyware or viruses. But if you have, say, a pirated copy of Excel — Microsoft (or companies with similar software) can erase it, or anything else they want to erase, and not be held liable for it. Additionally, that phrase “fraudulent or other illegal activities” means they can:

—Let the local district attorney know that you wrote a hot check last month.

—Let the attorney general know that you play online poker.

—Let the tax commission know you bought cartons of cigarettes and didn’t pay the state tax on them.

—Read anything on your hard drive, such as your name, home address, personal identification code, passwords, Social Security number … etc., etc., etc.

Welcome diggsters!



  1. Carl Trimble says:

    DOUBLEYOU TEE EFF??? How is this possible? John Dvorak for president!

  2. Improbus says:

    If bills like this become law it will be a boon for Linux adoption.

  3. FARTaLOT says:

    Ok this is acctually scaring me. No mention if this is just some spin off of the Patriot Act or anything allong those lines. But this is something the EFF needs to get the smackdown on.

  4. damnithoppie says:

    Called the “Computer Spyware Protection Act,” House Bill 1984

    Fixt

    Welcome to the land of the free. We really do know how to impress the world ey?

  5. rus62 says:

    And people want to put Windows on a Mac?

  6. Dave says:

    No plans on moving to OK

  7. gquaglia says:

    Fartalot, this has nothing to do with the patriot act and has everything to do with M$ wanting to get into your hard drive. Imagine the chubby Bill and Steve must have just thinking on how they will be able to go in and eratacate every unauthorized Office or Windows install they find. I can see it now, Steve is running around the office, sweating, yelling on how they will crush the software thevies and how the golden days of M$ are returning.
    The provision of informing the government of illegial activity was just to allow M$ to get access, where they would never would have been able to before.

  8. MikA says:

    So, if they have a free run at our hard drives they could put some illegal software there, pass go and collect $millions?

  9. Jeremy says:

    Ah, Freedom, the fleece that covers the eyes of americans.

    It seems that in our rush to have freedom of responsibitly for our self, we seem to haver really lost something, rather than just having someone take care of our issues. Things have been watered down to the point that you can’t taste the poison in the water.

    But it sure is refreshing to drink.

  10. Jaliejones says:

    Ok this is just over the top. I agree that it would help to put a damper on online preditors but for someone to be able to access your computer is just wrong. some people keep practically thier whole lives on their computers, I know I don’t want anyone getting ahold of my personal info, including pictures of my kids. But it’s all about the money, that is what it comes down to. How can they make more money, when they are just taking it from worthy Americans who need it more than they ever possiably could!

  11. John Wofford says:

    This will only happen if we all bend down, drop our drawers, and spread our cheeks. There’s too many bright people using computers that will figure ways around this. The folks who feel compelled to obey the “Click Here Now!” links will suffer the consequences, but the ones who invest the time (and yeah, money) to learn the cyber ropes will get by.

  12. blank says:

    wouldn’t encryption of all your data on your drive, and have it unencrypt on the fly, fix all of this? Or are they going to make it illegal to encrypt anything?

  13. Smith says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the stated intent of the legislature and Microsoft to pass a law that made drive-by spyware infection of our computers illegal? Or is Sony’s stealth installation of their rootkit acceptable behavior for a corporation?

    I do not doubt that a law dealing with a complex issue yielded a truckload of unintended consequences. (Yes, I’m giving MS the benefit of the doubt, primarily because I’ve seen — and contributed — a lot of rants about MS’s diabolically invasion of our computers over the years, yet I find their actions to be largely benign.)

    I say kudos to Oklahoma and Microsoft for trying to get a handle on the Internet’s biggest plague.

  14. axe says:

    I’m tired of these EULA’s. EULA this!

  15. ranron says:

    Get PGP Desktop with Whole Disk Encryption. It is seemless and does not hurt performance. I think with that, M$ would have a hard time check everyone’s computer out plus the fact it would be illegal to decrypt.

  16. Mr. Fusion says:

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    If Micro$oft has reached an agreement with the State to spy upon the citizens, then M$ now becomes part of the State. Any information obtained without a warrant would be inadmissible in court and MS now becomes liable for any damage it creates.

  17. James says:

    Last I heard, the government was working hard to find some way to frame Bill and fine him billions of dollars. This will be just what they need to excite public opinion against him and sue him. (I hope!)

  18. Well, we know that the GPL will never have a provision to allow anyone to do that, nor will any free software license. So, those of us who use free software have nothing to year. Kind of feel sorry for y’all Windows users, though…

  19. Paul says:

    Well I’m really glad to be an Oklahoman…… This is insane, who is going to stop these crooks? I need to get out of this state.

  20. glenH says:

    I love my Ubuntu, I love it I do. You would be most wise to get your Ubuntu too.

  21. Bryan says:

    I lived in Oklahoma and this bill does not suprise me at all. The Oklahoma state government is very nosey and wants to know anything and everything each and everyone in state are doing.

    Personally, I am not going back there unless it is for an emergancy.

  22. sachin says:

    People,

    its high time to move to non M$ alternatives. linux for OS and openoffice for word processing. I am sick of seeing megacorps crushing people’s right in the name of license infringment and what not. I think after another 50 years we can see CEO of sony pictures/ microsoft/ apple or other scissor sister as president of United states. looks like everyone is in a deep s**t.

  23. Kevin_from_Akron says:

    If this is true, and it becomes nationwide, then Linux will be my next operating system.

  24. Eric says:

    Definately will be going to the Supreme Court if anything comes of it. Invasion of privacy and no warrant needed to do it? No way that would hold up in court. M$ will be liable for everything… man if this passes I’m going to go to OK and commit some “illegal acts” just to sue M$ out the wazoo for damages when taken to court.

  25. /b/ says:

    I really do hate M$

    I don’t think I’ll upgrade to Vista.

  26. Rouslan N. says:

    If this happens, I am definately switching to Linux. I am putting my M$ applications on the “partially allowed” list of my firewall. I do not want the government spying on my hard drive-I have already got self-destruct diskettes ready…

  27. beargins says:

    Im from oklahoma, what can i do about this? whats weird is that this issue is pretty much in the dark right now, noone knows or cares. This is why americans are losing many freedoms today, we are too afraid or embarassed or busy to stand up for what we believe is right. I sent Senator Clark Jolley a message via his website, Its sad to see how people are losing privacy rights not only because of the war, but because of large corporations and their money schemes. Wouldnt it be great if everyone migrated to free unix derived OS’s?

    its obvious that they are not out to save users from spyware or viruses, they would make less money that way.

  28. Ronin says:

    I’m so glad I’m going to graduate soon. Then I’m out of this stupid state.

  29. Thin Jimmy says:

    very interesting, i remember hearing a little while ago about Microsoft urging stores that sell computers to not let people buy a computer without an OS…obviously Billy wanted those computers to have windows in them and now this…2+2=Microsoft wanting to know too much about us.

  30. shan says:

    hahahah, this is funny. that’s why i’ll always run linux. why doesn’t everyone else see how much easier and BETTER it is! there’s countless distros, and tell me one thing you can do on windows that you can’t do on linux (except for getting countless viruses and spyware, and oh yea, THIS) lol..


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