April 18, 2012 – Montgomery, Ala. – Senator Cam Ward and Representative Paul DeMarco jointly sponsored the legislation that will bring both criminal penalties, and police and investigatory techniques for computer based crimes into the 21st Century.
“This legislation will provide added protection for our families and businesses who are being put at risk by cyber criminals, internet bullies, and all manner of bad actors – both in our state and around the world,” Senator Ward said.
This bill puts Alabama on the leading edge with remedies allowing law enforcement to obtain subpoenas and search warrants for information held by out-of-state providers such as Facebook and Twitter and network providers like AT&T and Verizon. The bill also allows for Alabama Judges and Prosecutors to issue warrants for information held by these specialized companies, and for Alabama companies to honor the same warrants coming from out of state law enforcement. As you know, many crimes are committed where the vital evidence in solving the crime involves information from computers – this law will aid our law enforcement in tracking down criminals throughout the country.
Many of the worst “cyber” crimes are actually committed over the computer – by people seeking to take advantage of Alabama citizens. These crimes include industry terms such as “phishing” and “skimming”: criminals stealing personal or business information, to steal money, identities, or get credit cards issued on accounts in their names. Many of the programs and devices used to commit these crimes have no legal use, and this bill let’s our police and investigators seize and destroy this equipment.
“The world we live in is enhanced by technology. It makes our businesses more efficient, it allows us to stay in touch with friends and relatives more easily; it can also be a disaster,” Rep. DeMarco said. “The reason we sponsored this legislation is to make sure that while Alabama is becoming more and more ingrained in our wired world, that all of our citizens are protected against those who wish to do us harm.”