back to article Senate bill proposes to outlaw pretexting

The US Senate has approved a bill designed to tighten US cyber-crime laws. An amended version of the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2007 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 15 November but the measures still need to be approved by the House and the President before becoming law. The bill, sponsoured by …

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Only reservation I have

is how will these be enforced, just selectively against people who have made the FBI look bad, or will they finally be investigating all the crimes these laws focus on. Having laws is one thing spending the time and effort to enforce them is another.

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10 instalations?

Come on its not like you can argue personal spyware use for 1 and dealer use for 10.

If someone hid a GPS tracker in my car the charges start with unlawful access and can end up at stalking. Why are computers diffrent?

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It is about time

It is about time. We almost had legislation similar this in Canada, but with our current minority government, the Liberals and the NDP prevented the Conservatives passing it. The Liberals and NDP didn't think computer crimes caused enough damage to justify creating new laws.

Keep in mind that there were already US laws against invading US government computers. So my understanding is that this bill's primary effect is to protect the protection of criminal law to privately owned computers.

A "felony" is a serious crime. With most crimes there is a line arbitrarily drawn between a misdemeanor and a felony. For theft, in some jurisdictions theft over $1,000 is a felony, in others the line is $10,000. The 10 computers is that arbitrary line that the authors of the legislation picked.

If someone is installing spyware and also stalking, then they are committing two crimes. Nothing in this new law would prevent prosecution for that other crime.

As for who gets investigated, it will be probably be those who commit the most serious criminal acts, as well as those who commit criminal acts against those with loud voices and good connections. FBI computers, as US government computers, were already protected under US law.

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@Brett

There could be several reasons for the 10 computer minimum, the first could simply be ease of prosecution, if someone walked up and put a GPS in your car you have a physical act that took place in a specific location at which the perp had to physically travel to / enter that location, you have potential wittinesses and forensic evidence that makes the case easier to prosecute. where cyber crimes arent so easy, and in a 1 on 1 case, boogie man against victim, it would be all too easy to discredit the case, with 10 victims, its a little easier, especially if they find personal information of 10 people in the possession of the perp.

just my thoughts

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RE: 10 Installations?

I'm sure most parents with young children can come up with an argument for personal spyware.

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Anonymous Coward

The line of 10...

... may also there to alow companys to put spyware on there own PC's, so that in certan cases that can put it on to spy on people who they think are leaking data, or some other such offence, but it means that they cant spy on the whole company. Haven read the law, so I dont know for sure, but thats my tupence worth.

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