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Improved legislation, co-ordination needed to fight cyber crime, House Subcommittee hears.


International efforts to crack down on computer-related crime are reportedly being hampered by the lack of relevant legislation in over 100 countries worldwide.

A US government Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology heard on 26 July that at least 60% of INTERPOL member countries do not have specific laws to criminalise computer crimes. This inevitably makes it much harder to secure a conviction for a range of crimes involving new technology - such as viruses, credit card fraud and child pornography.

FBI representative Michael Vatis told the Subcommittee that countries without a legal framework to deal with cyber crime often lack the authority to investigate or prosecute such activity. Citing the recent case of the 'ILOVEYOU' virus in the Philippines, Vatis said that the joint US-Philippine hunt for the suspected perpetrator had been hampered by the lack of a specific computer crime statute in the country.

Most speakers agreed that the reporting and investigation of computer-related crime should be much faster.

Richard Schaeffer, head of the Pentagon office of Infrastructure and Information Assurance, told the Subcommittee that the international community needed to be able to 'respond to cyber events in near real time', and Juergen Maurer, detective chief superintendent of the German Federal Police Office, said that special 24-hour communication channels should be established 'to process urgent and critical cases.'

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Publication:Internet Business News
Date:Jul 28, 2000
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