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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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