Washington Cracks Down On Cybercrime

During the 2016 Washington Legislature session, lawmakers came together to crack down on rampant cybercrime by voting a bill proposed by Rep. Chad Magendanz, R- Issaquah which would categorize several negative online behaviours as criminal. The cybercrime bill was passed by both the House and Senate, but still needs to be looked over by Governor Jay Inslee before it would come into action. 

The cybercrime bill, referred to as Magendanz’s bill, has created several new prosecutable crimes which include a penalty of $10 000 and a prison sentence for interrupting the use of data or communication. Other notable new cybercrimes include data-tampering, spoofing and most obviously electronic data theft. These new crimes all carry penalty fines over $5000, and jail sentences between one and five years.

The bill comes as a bid from government to start tackling the issue of online safety and security issues, after a slow reaction time from government lead to an increase in cybercrime in the past few years. When asked about the bill, Magendanz stated:”

This was a pretty significant step. Other states will be using this as a model.”

The deadline for the bill to pass without Governor Inslee’s signature is the 2nd of April.   

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