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April 4, 2006
Rep. Michael J. Madigan, Speaker of the House
Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, Majority Leader
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Dear House Leaders:
My name is Emily Hackett and I am the executive director of the Internet Alliance (IA). I am writing to you to urge you to reject Representative Sidney Mathias’ proposed House Floor amendment to SB 3036, the anti-spyware bill.
By way of introduction, the IA is the leading Internet trade association representing Internet companies in the 50 states and includes members such as Experian, IAC/InterActiveCorp, VeriSign, Yahoo! and others.
IA members believe that this so-called “Good Samaritan” provision is misnamed. This section of the bill is designed to grant immunity to anti-spyware software makers against claims from companies whose programs have been misidentified (and then often deleted) as “spyware” or “adware.” However, this immunity could have serious unintended consequences:
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission recently accused “Spykiller” software makers of “deceptively identifying anti-virus programs, word processing programs, or any of the processes running on the system as spyware." The FTC took enforcement action to prevent this company from distributing its anti-spyware software.
Similar immunity proposals failed in California last year. We are unaware of any other state that has successfully adopted a similar provision, due to its unprecedented nature.
Thank you for your consideration. Again, we urge you to reject this proposed amendment. We look forward to working with you on this issue. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us.