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State lawmaker looks to ban "spy apps"

ALBANY -- A New York State lawmaker says he wants to ban so called spy apps not only in the state but world wide.

Assembly member Micah Kellner, D-Manhattan, says "spy apps" lead to stalking and domestic violence. Kellner says apps such as "Spy2Mobile" and "I See You HD" are being downloaded on spouses phones, without their knowledge, and information is being kicked back to the spouses partner.

The apps can be downloaded on smart phones. Some can log data such as phone calls, in and out, and contents of text messages and emails.

"It is the 21st century form of stalking," Kellner said.

Albany Attorney, April Dalbec, says it is already illegal under state law for a person to download the app on someone else phone without their knowledge. However, proving it in court is difficult, Dalbec said.

"It gets into a he said she said type situation," Dalbec added.

Kellner says his legislation goes one step further. The assembly member  introduced a bill this past session to make the apps themselves illegal in New York State. His legislation would go after the app maker and provider in hopes to get them taken down world wide.

"If you're a company like Spy2Mobile or you're Apple or Google, and you are allowing these apps to be sold you're the ones held liable,' Kellner said of his legislation.

Kellner says his legislation has support in the assembly but he hopes to use an anticipated upcoming special session of the legislature to gain support from the senate.

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