Suche innerhalb des Archivs / Search the Archive All words Any words

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[] House Keeps Focus on Cybercrime,

House Keeps Focus on Cybercrime 

10:00 a.m. May 8, 2002 PDT 
WASHINGTON -- Computer criminals would face increased penalties, and
Internet users would face greater surveillance by access providers,
under a bill approved on Wednesday by a House of Representatives panel. 

Spurred by worries about electronic terrorism, a dramatic increase in
computer viruses and other Internet intrusions, the House Judiciary
Committee unanimously
approved a bill that seeks to better coordinate efforts to fight
cybercrime while increasing recommended sentences for those found

Under current law, punishments for cybercrimes are based on the economic
damage they cause, which often results in little or no jail time. The
author of the "Melissa" computer virus, which caused $1.2 billion in
damage, was sentenced last week to 20 months in prison and a $5,000

The bill would direct the U.S. Sentencing Commission to take into
account the perpetrator's intent and other factors, such as whether
sensitive government computers were the target. 

"Cybercrime knows no borders or restraints, and can harm the nation's
economy and threaten its security," said Rep. Lamar Smith, the Texas
Republican who sponsored the bill. 

Computer criminals who put human lives at risk, either knowingly or
through "reckless" behavior, could face life in prison under the

The bill also would make it easier for Internet service providers to
report suspicious activity on their networks. Current law prohibits
service providers from
reporting user activity unless it presents an immediate risk of death or
injury, and allows users to sue for damages if their privacy is

Smith's bill would loosen those requirements to enable service providers
to report threats that are not immediate, and would protect them from
lawsuits when they do so. Providers would face penalties if they did not
store electronic records, such as customer e-mails, for at least 90

Smith removed a provision that would have reimbursed Internet providers
for compliance costs, saying the Justice Department could not determine
what those
costs would be. A congressional research service might attempt to
determine appropriate reimbursement levels, he said. 

The Judiciary Committee also changed the bill to require the Justice
Department to report after one year how many times Internet providers
had reported suspicious activity. Another amendment clarified that
police officers do not need to be present while a search warrant is

The bill has drawn support from Internet providers, who say current law
places them in the awkward position of determining the gravity of
threats made in their chat rooms or contained in customer e-mails. 

But the Center for Democracy and Technology, a civil-liberties group,
has said it could encourage law enforcement agencies -- or any
government agency -- to pressure Internet providers to turn over their
records without a search warrant, further eroding electronic privacy. 

The bill next heads to the House floor for a full vote.

Liste verlassen: 
Mail an infowar -
 de-request -!
- infopeace -
 de mit "unsubscribe" im Text.