A bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Thom Tillis, R-N.C., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., seeks to improve cybercrime data collection and give Federal law enforcement more tools to stop online crime.

The Better Cybercrime Metrics Act, introduced August 5, will “improve data collection on cybercrimes, giving law enforcement and policy makers more tools to understand the size and scope of cybercrime in the United States.”

“To protect people and fight online crimes, including hacks and scams, we need to understand how often, when, and where it’s happening,” Sen. Schatz said in a press release. “Our bipartisan bill will equip us with the data we need to go after criminals and provide more support to victims of cybercrime.”

If enacted, the legislation will do the following:

  • Require FBI to report cybercrime metrics and cyber-enabled crime categories like they do for other types of property crimes;
  • Encourage local and Federal law enforcement agencies to report cybercrimes to the FBI;
  • Authorize a National Academies of Science study to “create a taxonomy for cybercrime incidents in consultation with Federal, state, local, and tribal stakeholders, criminologists, and business leaders that would inform the FBI’s reporting of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime;” and
  • Require the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the Justice Department and Census Bureau to include cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime related questions on its annual National Crime Victimization Survey.

“Cybercrimes have steadily increased in recent years, putting private information, energy dependability, and our national security at risk,” said Sen. Tillis. “It’s time for Congress to act on these growing threats by giving law enforcement and policymakers the tools needed to improve data collection and respond to cyberattacks.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.