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Hearing of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security of the House Judiciary Committee - Privacy and Cybercrime Enforcement Act


Location: Washington, DC

Hearing of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security of the House Judiciary Committee - Privacy and Cybercrime Enforcement Act


REP. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH): I thank the chairman for yielding. Mr. Holleyman, new reports indicate that crimes committed via computers are becoming increasingly prevalent, and I know that's what we've been discussing today, with as many as 10 million computers falling victim to hackers.

FBI Director Mueller is quoted as saying that quote, "Botnets are the weapon of choice for cyber criminals," unquote. How urgent is it that we pass cyber crime legislation, and we afford to wait on cyber crime legislation while we address other problems with Internet security?

MR. HOLLEYMAN: Mr. Chabot, thank you for that question. I think that it is imperative and urgent to pass cyber crime legislation. I think there is broad agreement in both houses of Congress and across the aisle in terms of what loopholes need to be closed. Your question is correct that the growth in botnets is an enormous problem, and that is bringing law abiding citizens unwittingly into the process in which their computers are being hijacked and used to perpetrate crime.

It may slow down their computer. It may be a nuisance for them, but they don't really know what's happening. And we should not require that law enforcement be required to show that there is $5,000 worth of damage to take action in that case. So we believe the problem's immediate. It's growing. There is a solution, and we hope that Congress moves quickly on this.

REP. CHABOT: Thank you. And are legislative efforts enough, and what can consumers and businesses do to protect themselves to minimize the threat of cyber crime?

MR. HOLLEYMAN: Legislation is a key part, but it's not by itself the sole solution. There are public awareness activities that are underway through the FTC and other agencies to build awareness of this. There are private sector efforts that provide checklists to business owners of what type of security products they need to deploy and security procedures.

And finally, there are joint partnerships between industry and law enforcement, the National Cyber Forensic Training Alliance in Pittsburgh is just such an organization. BSA supports that, as do many in industry. They collect data on cyber crime, share that information with law enforcement, and assist in helping with the prosecution. So it takes a combined effort of which legislation is only one component, but it's an essential component.

REP. CHABOT: Thank you very much. And Mr. Chairman, as my colleague from North Carolina did, I would be happy to yield back with time at this time, in the interest of the rest of the committee.


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