The U.S. House passed legislation on May 22 to combat the criminal use of internet spyware and scams aimed at stealing personal information from computer users, the Associated Press reports. The bill makes it a criminal offense, subject to a prison term of up to five years, to access a computer without authorization to further another federal criminal offense. Obtaining or transmitting personal information with the intent of injuring or defrauding a person or damaging a computer is punishable by up to two years in prison. The measure also approves $10 million a year over the next four years to help the Justice Department fight other computer scams such as "phishing"–the use of fake eMails or web sites to trick consumers into providing bank account, credit card, or other personal information–and "pharming," where hackers redirect internet traffic to fake sites in order to steal personal information …

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070522/ap_on_hi_te/spyware;_ylt=Ai_0kmB7aqxWBeYiPTrW5gdj24cA

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