US legislation to quash cybercrime havens

A bill was introduced to the US Senate yesterday that – if passes – will penalize economically foreign countries that choose not to or fail to put a stop to cyber criminal activity originating from within their borders.

This “International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act” will make the White House responsible for pinpointing exactly which countries have to tackle the problem of cybercrime and have a “pattern of cybercrime against the U.S. Government, private entities or persons”. If they fail to act after being appraised of the situation, they are looking at cuts in US assistance and resources – new OPIC or ExIm financing, new multilateral financing, new TDA assistance, preferential trade programs, or new foreign assistance, as long as such do not limit projects to combat cybercrime.

“If we’re going to protect our networks, our infrastructure, our economy and our families, we have to go after cyber criminals wherever they may be — and it must be an international effort,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, one the authors of the bill.

According to the joint statement by Gillibrand and Senator Orrin Hatch, many US companies, including Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Symantec, PayPal, eBay, McAfee, American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Facebook, support this effort.

This latest legislative effort comes on the heels of the introduction of the newly revised cybersecurity bill that addresses the issue of disconnection of various networks in the event of a cyber attack.

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