"You're looking at a new species of criminal conduct," says Roma Theus, a white-collar crime expert at the Defense Research Institute and a former federal prosecutor. "We have to look beyond where we are today and think about where we might be ten years from today."
The Cyber-Security Enhancement Act, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), would do just that, stiffening penalties and sentencing times for cybercriminals by classifying computer-fraud offenses as a predicate offense for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law. Authorities could also seize any ill-gotten gains a crook may have obtained through online rackets.
The measure also adjusts the damage threshold that qualifies a cybercrime receive FBI attention. Currently, a financial loss of $5,000 spread out among victims makes an intrusion into a federal case; under the bill, damaging 10 or more computers in a year would automatically qualify, even with no financial harm.
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