The top-ranking legislator in the Iowa House is touting legislation that would crack-down on “spammers” — the folks who send you that unwanted “junk” email. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, would make the crime a felony. “It is, in effect, causing a lot of financial problems. It is a serious offense,” Rants says of spamming. He says prosecutors, though, are often reluctant to spend the time pursuing a case against a spammer when the penalty is just a misdemeanor. Rants says some of that “spam” in your in-box carries computer viruses. There are a couple of other bills dealing with email. One seeks to crack down on those who send unsolicited email that installs “spyware” on your personal computer. The spyware then records personal information that you reveal as you type and surf on the Internet. The other bill would establish new penalties for those who go “fishing” by sending bogus email that declares, for example, that your E-Bay account will be closed unless you provide some financial information.
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