The SPY ACT: Ditching Damages as an Element of Liability for On-Line Conduct Between Private Parties?
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Overview: The question of how to stymie the explosion of spy ware on computers has been a recurring topic of debate in Congress and in the technology industry. With the passage of the SPY ACT (H.R. 29) a high probability, this paper highlights its prohibitions, with particular emphasis on how they change current legal regimes. Most federal computer statutes - insofar as they address actions victimizing private citizens - require damage to the computer. In addition, one of the elements of common law trespass to chattel is damage.