Utah Rep. Blake Moore and congressional colleagues have introduced legislation to improve federal tracking of cybercrime
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Utah Rep. Blake Moore (R-District 1) and a bipartisan coalition of congressional colleagues are taking on cybercrime.
”The aggression we see from cyber criminals and other adversaries requires a new era of reporting and collaboration between private and pubic industries,” Moore explained while introducing bicameral legislation to improve the government’s understanding, measurement and tracking of cybercrime.
“This Better Cybercrime Metrics Act is a critical first step in helping both the government and private industry understand and address the growing challenge of cybercrime and attacks on our cybersecurity,” he added.
The federal government currently lacks an effective system to measure cybercrime, according to congressional staffers.
This lack of detailed, consistent systems for collecting and categorizing data on cybercrime is an impediment to understanding the full scope of the problem and taking effective steps to combat those offenses.
In 2018, for example, a study by the Gallup data organization found that nearly one in four U.S. households were victimize by cybercrime, making it the most common criminal offense in America.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation lists those offenses as including industrial and national espionage, identity theft, fraud and other forms of computer-related harm to individuals, businesses and government entities.
The large majority of these crimes are not properly reported or tracked, however. In many cases, they are not measured at all, since it is estimated that the FBI only collects about one in 90 of all cybercrimes in its Internet Crime Complaint Center database.
Moore’s staff members in Washington explain that the Uniform Crime Reporting Act of 1988 requires that all federal law enforcement agencies report crime data through the FBI. But agencies that have jurisdiction over offenses within the broader definition of cybercrime – including the FBI and Secret Service – are not consistently reporting those numbers. The same is often true of state and local law enforcement data.
Moore says that the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act would improve federal records-keeping and investigation by requiring the Government Accountability Office to access current cybercrime mechanisms and highlight disparities in reporting between cybercrime and other types of crime data.
The proposed legislation would also require the U.S. Department of Justice to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to develop a taxonomy for cybercrime; direct the National Crime Victimization Survey to include questions about cybercrime; and ensure that the National Incident Based Reporting System include cybercrime reports from federal, state and local officials.
In the House of Representatives, Moore’s allies in this effort include Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY).
On the other side of the Capitol, campanion legislation is being introduced by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).