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Boback Introduces Legislation to Protect Cell Phone Users from Spyware

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) recently introduced legislation intended to protect cell phone users from the installation of spyware on their wireless devices without their permission.  

“Cell phone technology has come so far that many of these devices are in effect portable handheld computers, which can be subjected to the same spyware and viruses as our home computers,” said Boback.  “Spyware can enable others to listen to our private conversations, see our text messages and could even be used to remotely activate the camera or video functions of the phone, all unbeknownst to its user.” 

Under the legislation, parents would still be able to install tracking software onto phones to monitor and locate their children.  Police, first responders and cell phone service providers would also be exempt from the provision.   

Boback noted that House Bill 3 could help to prevent cyberstalking.  It would also give the Attorney General the authority to prosecute those who install spyware on cell phones without the owner’s permission. 

“It is not unthinkable this technology could advance to the point where spyware would be transmitted via e-mail or text message in a similar manner to how viruses and phishing schemes are transmitted to home computers, said Boback.  “No matter how harmless certain technologies may seem at first, there will always be devious minds to find unintended and sometimes diabolical uses for these advances, which is why I am taking this proactive stance.” 

Rep. Karen Boback
117th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(570) 477-3752
(717) 787-1117
Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
(717) 783-8063
Member Site:
Caucus Site:

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