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The Boston Globe

Nation

Senate panel OK’s bill that would close stalking loophole

WASHINGTON — A loophole that permits software companies to sell cyberstalking apps that operate secretly on cellphones could soon be closed by Congress. The software is popular among jealous wives or husbands because it can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that makes it a crime for companies to make and intentionally operate a stalking app. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, also would curb the appeal for such inexpensive and easy-to-use programs by requiring companies to disclose their existence on a target’s phone.

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