Yesterday we talked about some of the changes that President Obama and his administration want to see revolving around cyber crimes and cyber attacks. Part of the plan includes setting up a way for businesses and government to gain more protection from cyber attacks with something they’re referring to as “targeted liability protection.” Protecting the businesses and government agencies from crimes related to hacking is a great step forward but the plan wasn’t just about protecting the businesses and the government, it was also about protecting the personal data of citizens from potential cyber threats on those businesses and government agencies, which is why Obama stated that the “targeted liability protection” would only be granted if companies took measures to protect the personal data of their customers.
Obama also wants to take a heavier stance on other areas of cyber crimes, like botnets, and making overseas sales of personal data from credit cards and bank accounts illegal. All of this boils down to making it more of a serious crime to engage in cyber attacks, and as part of that Obama wants congress to increase the prison sentencing time for hackers. Like any person that commits any crime, a longer prison sentence will likely do little to persuade individuals that are truly committed to their cause not to hack or commit some sort of cyber attack. Increased prison time though if caught could be great to prevent some hackers from engaging in cyber crime activities. Obama will reportedly be publicly announcing other changes he’d like to see made on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act at next week’s State of The Union Address.
Obama clearly feels that criminals who engage in cyber crimes should be just as susceptible to the “full force of American justice” because he feels they do a significant amount of damage. He argues that hackers could potentially be doing more damage than those that are engaged in more conventional crimes, which is more than likely a good reason for wanting to make cyber crimes more serious and worthy of longer prison sentences, as the Obama administration seeks to increase the maximum penalty for cyber crimes from five to ten years. In addition to this, Obama wants congress to broaden the definition of “exceeds authorized access,” so as to potentially make it easier to prosecute hackers that may have otherwise been capable of escaping a penalty due to the current definition. What do you feel about some of these changes being proposed to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? Do you think this will do much to change things?