Computer Crime Research Center


Internet laws

Date: December 29, 2006

As technology all around us continues to change, so do the methods of criminals.

Now one of our newly elected officials wants to make sure our laws are developing as quickly as our computer skills.

Attorney General elect Lori Swanson says the laws we have now aren't good enough anymore, and it means we aren't protecting our kids.

So she's proposing a group of new laws that would mean bigger punishments and even hard time, for those committing crimes behind the comfort of their own desk.

It was just a few months ago that Kasson police bated a handful of men to head to town thinking they were meeting 14 year old boys and girls for sex, and they did it all with a computer.

At the time investigator Mike Wunderlich said, "It was about as graphic and vulgar as you can possibly imagine."

That's the type of activity attorney general elect Lori Swanson wants to see big punishments for.

Swanson says, "What these do is they're designed to give prosecutor more tools for going after and targeting 21st century crimes."

One of Swanson's new proposals is to make it a felony to send sexually explicit on-line or text messages which currently is not a crime in Minnesota.

Ellis Middle School in Austin is just one of several schools in our area who've developed programs to deal with the problem of bullying, but what used to be as simple as a face to face threat or fight has taken on a whole new life.
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