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[ISN] Lawmakers propose more money cybercrime battle


By Wade-Hahn Chan
May 15, 2007

Legislation introduced May 14 by a bipartisan group of lawmakers would 
pump $10 million a year into federal law enforcement efforts to crack 
down on cybercrime.

The spending surge, which would last until 2011, would help give the 
U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and the attorney general's staff the 
training and computer forensics tools they need to investigate online 
scams, identity theft and other cybercrimes.

The Cyber-Security Enhancement Act of 2007 also would expand sentencing 
guidelines for cybercrime as a means to create, in the words of the 
bill, “an effective deterrent to computer crime and the theft or misuse 
of personally identifiable information."

Cybercriminals could also face stiffer penalties. The bill would 
eliminate interstate or foreign communication requirements for certain 
offenses, make conspiracy to commit cybercrime prosecutable and 
criminalize botnet attacks. Botnets are networks of computers 
compromised by hidden software, Trojan horse viruses or back doors that 
enable criminals to run fraud or spam schemes or launch attacks from 
multiple computers on the network.

“As [criminals] adapt to…new opportunities to defraud consumers, we must 
develop better ways to track down the perpetrators and put them away,” 
said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in a statement. A bipartisan group led 
by Schiff and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)  introduced the legislation on 

Industry representatives reacted positively to the bill.

“For too long, cybercriminals have taken advantage of legal blind spots 
and an under-resourced law enforcement community to brazenly threaten 
online confidence and security,” said Robert Holleyman, president and 
chief executive officer of the Business Software Alliance, in a press 

He said offenders are forming organized criminal enterprises and law 
enforcement would need updated and improved tools to fight back.

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