Bipartisan Legislation, Coauthored by Congressman Schiff, to Combat Computer Crimes and Ensure Data Security Passes Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – Coming just days after reports of stolen Veterans Affairs data - what may be the nation’s largest ever information security breach - the House Committee on the Judiciary today passed the “Cyber-Security Enhancement and Consumer Data Protection Act of 2006” (H.R. 5318).  The bipartisan bill, coauthored by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), would better combat cyber crime and protect data security.  In an era of increasingly sophisticated computer technology, H.R. 5318 would provide better data security protections for both individuals and businesses and would give law enforcement the tools they need to successfully track and prosecute cyber criminals. 

“Criminals are increasingly using new technologies to prey upon their victims,” Schiff said.  “As they adapt to these new opportunities to defraud, we must develop better ways to track them down and put them away.  This legislation will help better protect American consumers and businesses from the costly effects of cyber crime and identity theft.”

The “Cyber-Security Enhancement and Consumer Data Protection Act” would:

  • Strengthen existing law by making it a crime to access the personal information of individuals and by placing an added responsibility on companies to report to law enforcement when sensitive data has been compromised;  
  • Provide the Department of Justice greater latitude to investigate and prosecute cyber crimes, particularly those operating in Eastern Europe and Asia; 
  • Call for stricter penalties for those who are found guilty of computer crimes;
  • Provide additional federal funding to the Secret Service, FBI, and Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute cyber crimes.

Schiff joined Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Howard Coble (R-NC), Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Tom Feeney (R-FL) in coauthoring the bipartisan measure.

Congressman Schiff is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles and is a member of both the House Judiciary and International Relations committees.  He is also Co-Chair of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus as well as a member of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus.   He represents California's 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.