Senate bill helps fight cyber thieves

Published 10:01 am Friday, December 2, 2011

The Internet has opened up the world when it comes to commerce, entertainment and information sharing. It is also given thieves a whole new set of tools with which to work.

The Ohio Senate took the first step earlier this week toward putting tougher laws in place to catch cyber criminals and harsher penalties for those caught committing these crimes.

Senate Bill 223 is geared towards individuals who defraud Ohioans using methods such as Internet auction sites like eBay, Facebook, e-mail and other forms of electronic communication.

Email newsletter signup

It also gives the Ohio attorney general the power to ask for citizens’ phone and Internet activity records as well as online payment information if suspected of Internet fraud.

According to the Ohio Associated Press, nearly 7,000 Ohioans were scammed out of more than $10 million last year. That is certainly enough reasons to revamp the law and provide tougher regulations.

Of course the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio opposes this and says it gives police too much power. But allowing law enforcement to have the tools to properly conduct investigation of a crime is key to protecting Ohio’s citizens. The ACLU says it will make it too easy for law enforcement to access some personal information.

But we cannot make laws from the cynical perspective that all authority is bad and will use power to the worst extreme.

Senate Bill 223 protects Ohioans and the House of Representatives should approve it.

The means by which criminals commit crimes have changed. The rules by which law enforcement can catch them have to change as well.