Stiffer Penalties and New Technologies to Fight Cybercrime

If legislators pass the new bill H.R. 3482, criminals will face stiffer penalties when breaking the law while using the Internet. H.R. 3482 will let federal prosecutors impose stiffer penalties depending on a variety of factors, including the level of sophistication and planning used during a crime, whether there's an attempt to seek private or commercial gain, whether there's malicious intent, the extent of privacy violation of the individuals harmed by a crime, and whether the offense involves computers the government uses for national defense, national security, or administration of justice. The bill calls for the Attorney General, acting through the FBI, to establish a National Protection Infrastructure Center to become the focal point for threat assessment, warning, and investigation. The new center will become responsible for responding to both physical and computer network-based attacks against the country's critical infrastructure. In addition, the bill seeks to wave an ISP's liability when cooperating with the government while dealing with cyber-related crimes.

Furthermore, the bill will establish an Office of Science and Technology under the US Department of Justice (DOJ). An office of the same name is currently established under the National Institute of Justice, and the government will transfer the current office's responsibilities to the new DOJ Office.

The new office will serve as the national focal point for law enforcement technology and will carry out programs through the provisioning of equipment, training, and technical assistance, and will seek to improve access to those items by federal and local law-enforcement agencies. In addition, the new office will develop, test, and evaluate various weapons, bullet-resistant and explosive-resistant glass, monitoring systems for precise location information, communication technologies, tools and techniques for forensic work, equipment to disable terrorist devices, devices that prohibit the use of personal firearms by unauthorized individuals, DNA identification technologies, and investigative tools for computer crimes.

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