Federal cybercrime experts to tell House about efforts

Federal law enforcement officials will testify before a House panel Tuesday on their agencies' efforts to fight cybercrime. The afternoon hearing is the second in a series of three the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee is holding on the issue.

Representatives from the Justice Department, the FBI and the Secret Service will tell the panel what their agencies are doing to battle crimes such as denial-of-service hacking attacks, the spread of computer viruses, identity theft, fraud and online child pornography.

But Alan Davidson of the Center for Democracy and Technology will urge Congress to maintain a balance between the needs of law enforcement and those of private citizens.

"You can't address the problem of cybercrime without also addressing privacy protections," he told National Journal's Technology Daily. "There is so much more information available now about individuals that can be used for criminal investigations, but our privacy laws haven't been updated since 1986, before the Internet really existed."

Thomas Kubic, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, will testify on behalf of that agency.

Last month at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Kubic announced that the FBI had brought criminal charges against 90 people for more than $117 million in damages in a joint operation with the National White Collar Crime Center, the Postal Service, the Customs Service, the IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission and local law enforcement officials.

Also testifying at the hearing will be Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff and James Savage Jr., the deputy special agent in charge of the Secret Service's Financial Crimes Division.

At Judiciary's first cyber-crime hearing in May, state and local law enforcement officials asked Congress to establish jurisdictional guidelines for cyber-crime enforcement and to appropriate funds for the Computer Crime Enforcement Act of 2000, which authorized $25 million annually for such initiatives.

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