Computer Crime Research Center


The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act

Date: November 29, 2007

The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2007 passed the Senate by unanimous consent. As is often the case in our nation’s legislature, the two houses of the federal legislature — the House of Representatives and the Senate — are working at roughly redundant purposes, and have each worked on very similar bills. The House version, however, has not yet left subcommittee deliberation for consideration by the House of Representatives at large.

The Senate bill, should it be enacted as law, amends Title 18 of the US Code to address conspiracy to commit what our Congress terms “cybercrime”, close loopholes in current law against extortion, give victims of identity theft increased ability to seek restitution, and specifically address the phenomenon of botnets. Dealing with botnets is attempted in the ITERAct by making it a crime to “damage”, whatever that means, ten or more computers in a single year.

Tim Bennett, the president of the CSIA, said “This cybercrime bill is an integral part of the cybercrime fight, but it is also imperative that this Congress address through legislation other aspects of the problem, such as data security, to prevent criminals from getting sensitive personal information in the first place.”
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