Cybercrime legislation would set up grants

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has introduced the Computer Crime Enforcement Act, which sets up a $25 million grant program through the U.S. Justice Department for states to use for improved education, training, enforcement and prosecution of computer crimes.

Leahy said Congress had recognized the importance of providing state and local authorities with the means to prevent and attack cybercrime through the FBI's Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) program and the National Infrastructure Protection Center. The new bill would provide each state with increased resources to contribute to collaborative efforts with federal officials.

Leahy cited a recent survey by the FBI and the Computer Security Institute that found 62 percent of information security professionals had reported computer security breaches in the past year. Those breaches resulted in financial losses of more than $120 million from fraud, theft of private information, sabotage, computer viruses and stolen laptops.

The bill, introduced July 1, also has been signed by Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Chuck Robb (D-Va.) and has been passed on to the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.

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