Cybercrime

Today, The Council of State Governments joined The National Emergency Management Association and eight other organizations representing state and local government officials to urge Congress to consider key principles while developing legislation to protect the nation’s information infrastructure.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a cyber-security bill last week and the Senate is currently considering a bill which is expected to come to a vote later this month.

The organizations called on Congress to consider...

The Act defines a computer "zombie" as a ―computer that, without the knowledge and consent of the computer's owner or operator, has been compromised to give access or control to a program or person other than the computer's owner or operator. " It defines a "botnet" as a "collection of two or more zombies." The Act prohibits people from creating or using zombies and botnets to perform actions such as damaging other computers or collecting personal information about computer users.

This Act authorizes intercepting electronic communications of suspected computer trespassers under certain conditions. It defines "computer trespasser" as "a person who accesses a computer or any other device with Internet capability without authorization and thus has no reasonable expectation of privacy in any communication transmitted to, through, or from the computer or other device."

While the modern office of the attorney general continues to perform its traditional role of providing legal advice and legal representation in matters affecting the state’s interests, those state interests now include an infinitely broader range of social and economic policies and protection of the public interest. Three of the top issues for attorneys general this year are cybercrime, consumer protection and tobacco. As the chief legal officer of each state or jurisdiction, attorneys general are committed to arresting online predators and providing services to victims of child pornography, protecting consumers during the economic downturn from lending abuses and scams, and continuing to interpret, implement and enforce the Master Settlement Agreement reached with the tobacco industry in 1998.

Suggested State Legislation: Florida Chapter 143 of 2007 enhances penalties for existing crimes related to possession of child pornography when the offender possesses ten or more images and at least one image includes a child under the age of five; sadomasochistic abuse, sexual battery or sexual bestiality involving a child; or any video or live movie involving a child.