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Lawmakers seek to ban spyware



A trio of Washington lawmakers is seeking to stop the spread of "spyware" and "adware" that hijacks people's computers without their consent, ZDNet UK reports.

Their proposed bill would require a computer users' consent before software was installed, and ensure that software programs could be easily removed.

"Computer users should have the same amount of privacy online as they do when they close the blinds in the windows of their house," one of the lawmakers said in a statement. "But... computers across the country are being hijacked every day as users unknowingly download unwanted and deceitful programs that spy into their online world."

The bill comes as public awareness of the problem is growing quickly as people increasingly use software that identifies the hidden software that produces advertisements, pop-up boxes, or changes home pages without permission. The digital pests often find their way onto computers bundled along with popular free programs such as file-swapping tools.