Congress Passes Stronger Identity Theft Laws

September 23, 2008 at 11:13 am 4 comments

The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act has passed Congress and is on the president’s desk for final approval and signing into law. This bill will add stiffer penalties and definitions for information and identity theft crimes. This bill was originally proposed in 2007 by Senator Patrick Leahy but it stalled in the House of Representatives. To get it through, Senator Leahy eventually attached it to another unrelated bill.

Basically, this law makes installing spyware or malware on more than 10 computers a felony; allows federal agents to go after identity theft cases where the victim and criminal are in one state (before, the victim and criminal had to be in separate states); allows victims to sue the criminals for restitution after an identity theft crime; and eliminates the $5,000 minimum damages requirement previously required for charges to be filed.

You can see the different versions of the Bill here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.2168:

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