[ISN] Bush Push for Stiffer Hack Fines

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 00:41:06 PST

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    By Declan McCullagh  
    2:00 a.m. Feb. 23, 2002 PST 
    WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department wants Congress to increase jail
    terms and boost surveillance in an anti-hacking bill that will be
    debated next week.
    On Tuesday, a House Judiciary subcommittee is scheduled to vote on the
    Cyber Security Enhancement Act, which already increases punishments
    for illegal computer intrusions. In cases where miscreants knowingly
    attempt "to cause death or serious bodily injury" through electronic
    means, the punishment would be life imprisonment.
    That's not stiff enough for the Bush administration. John Malcolm, the
    deputy assistant attorney general, has testified that life
    imprisonment also should include "reckless" offenses like wreaking
    havoc on a 911 system or a hospital network.
    "Although the hacker has not intentionally or knowingly harmed ...  
    patients, his reckless conduct has clearly put them at risk of death
    or serious injury.... (The law should cover) not only hackers who
    damage a computer system knowing that death or serious injury will
    result, but also hackers who damage a computer system with reckless
    disregard for whether death or serious injury will result," Malcolm
    Also look for behind-the-scenes lobbying by the FBI and the Justice
    Department on behalf of a replacement bill to expand police wiretap
    powers even beyond last fall's mammoth USA Patriot Act.
    Current law permits police to use devices that record the numbers of
    incoming and outgoing phone calls -- or the Internet equivalent -- for
    two-day periods. Cops legally can do that without a court order in
    situations that could involve organized crime or the possibility of
    "death or serious bodily injury to any person."
    A revised version of the Cyber Security Enhancement Act would extend
    that list to include "an immediate threat to a national security
    interest or an ongoing attack on a (networked) computer that
    constitutes a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment greater than
    one year."
    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the crime subcommittee,
    plans to introduce the revised bill as a replacement for the original
    one at the vote next Tuesday.
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