On Monday, the House of Representatives passed the somewhat misleadiningly named Former Vice President Protection Act of 2008, H.R. 5938. The bill, which the President is expected to sign in to law, includes a significant amendment from Senator Leahy containing a number of anti-cyber crime provisions designed to bolster law enforcement's ability to combat spyware and identity theft, including:
- Providing identity theft victims the ability to seek restitution;
- Eliminating the requirement that the identity thief use an interstate communication to access the victim's computer;
- Eliminating the showing that a victim's computer has suffered more than $5,000 in damages;
- Making it a felony to employ spyware or keyloggers to damage 10 or more protected computers during any 1-year period;
- Altering existing law and making it illegal to threaten to steal or release information from a computer, even when there is no attempted extortion;
- Providing civil and criminal forfeiture remedies and mandating that the U.S. Sentencing commission review and update its guidelines for identity theft and other cyber crime offenses.
More information is available from Senator Leahy's office.