House Reauthorizes SAFE WEB Act

The House Consumer Protection has voted to extend the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders (US SSAFE WEB) Act through 2027.

It is also requiring the Federal Trade Commission to report back to Congress on how the act is being used, what litigation has been brought in foreign courts, and more. Ranking member Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), a lead sponsor of the bill extension, said that was crucial to insure the FTC is using the tools Congress provided--the lawfirst passed in 2006--to protect people from SPAM, spyware, deceptive advertising, data breaches, and most to the point, from foreign companies violating privacy protections.

The SAFEWEB Act provides tools to help consumers combat fraud that originates overseas by affirming the authority of the FTC to go after foreign actors affecting U.S. consumers and businesses, as House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) pointed out at the markup Thursday (Nov. 14).

The law also helps the FTC exchange information and provide assistance to foreign law enforcement. Pallone said those authorities are crucial.

The FTC has also said the law has helped it go after companies violating children's privacy and encouraged other countries to take U.S.'s lead.

Rep, Greg Walden (R-Ore.), ranking member of the full committee, praised the law as an important tool to do its international work against spam and other malicious online activity.

The reauthorization was bipartisan and unanimous.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.