AG Carr Supports SB 315’s Strengthening of Cybersecurity Laws

Senator Bruce Thompson (R, 14) has garnered the support of Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr for his Senate Bill 315 . The bill is co-sponsored by Senators John Albers (R, 56), Bill Cowsert (R, 46), Butch Miller (R, 49), Renee Unterman (R, 45), and Senator Jeff Mullis (R, 53).

The legislation seeks to strengthen Georgia’s ability to fight cybercrime more effectively by:

  • Creating the new crime of unauthorized computer access;
  • Making this crime punishable by a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature; and
  • Subjecting materials that aid in the crime to forfeiture.

AG Carr issued the following statement on the legislation:

“Senate Bill 315 is an important security measure that will further protect Georgians from cybercriminals. As it stands, we are one of only three states in the nation where it is not illegal to access a computer so long as nothing is disrupted or stolen. This doesn’t make any sense. Unlawfully accessing any computer in Georgia should be a crime, and we must fix this loophole. By adding greater protections and penalties against unauthorized computer access, we believe this bill will help us more effectively fight cybercrime in our state.”

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This bill needs its terms to be better defined. Network access is commonly done by researchers. What if someone worried about the security of their personal information at a security broker, scans that broker for known vulnerabilities? This law makes that a crime. Even if the person informs the company of their vulnerabilities. Where could this have occurred recently: 1. The person who scanned the voter registration system and exposed the flaw in its security. That researcher would be subject to prosecution. Interestingly, if they were a criminal who exploited the flaw, they would have been nearly impossible to find.… Read more »