Washington Cybercrime Act passes House and Senate

With a vote of 46-1, the Senate approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, to help prosecute and punish cybercrime activity, a growing area of concern in Washington state. House Bill 2375 previously passed the House with a unanimous vote of 97-0, and will be on its way to the Governor for signature after the House concurs with a technical amendment introduced in the Senate Law & Justice committee.

Digital communication systems are vulnerable to a growing amount of cybercrime.  These break-ins, data thefts, and disruptions to computer service or networks cost individuals and companies billions of dollars every year.

“Data is a lucrative target for criminals. The electronic frontier has changed many of the definitions of property trespass, theft, and fraud. Prosecutors have been fighting 21st century crime with 20th century tools. Our laws need to be updated so that computer related offenses can be successfully prosecuted,” said Magendanz.

House Bill 2375 would preserve existing laws for computer trespass and identify theft, while recognizing new categories of crime like tampering, spoofing, or 'denial of service' attacks – crimes that can make users temporarily or indefinitely unable to use their computer or networks. Further, individuals that copy or transmit data with the intent to commit a crime, while leaving the original in place or unaltered, could be prosecuted for data property theft.

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Washington State House Republican Communications