WASHINGTON -- The Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) vigorously applauds the Senate for unanimously passing legislation yesterday that would provide new tools to federal prosecutors to combat identify theft and other computer crimes. The legislation (S. 2168) was introduced on October 16 by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Arlen Specter and largely responds to complaints by the Department of Justice that current laws have failed to keep pace with the complexity of the crimes that are perpetrated.
We applaud the Senate for taking swift action to provide law enforcement greater tools to crack down on the increasingly sophisticated network of cyber criminals, said CSIA President Tim Bennett. Identity theft and data breaches have become organized crimes number one business. Closing loopholes in federal laws is a critical part of enhancing law enforcements ability to prosecute identity thieves.
The bill would update antiquated computer crime laws that fail to account for the ingenuity of 21st century cyber criminals. The measure gives victims of identify theft a chance to seek restitution in federal court for the loss of time and money spent restoring their credit. The bill also makes clear that threatening to obtain or release information from a protected computer for purposes of extortion constitutes a cyber crime.
CSIA recognizes the energetic leadership that Chairman Leahy brought together with the strong support of Ranking Member Specter in obtaining passage of this measure against modern day crime, added Bennett. To bring the measure into law, CSIA strongly urges the House to pass a companion measure before Congress adjourns for the year.