OLYMPIA – Lawmakers in Olympia voted 97-1 to toughen cybercrime laws in Washington state.
HB 2678, sponsored by Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, expands the scope of the crime of Electronic Data Tampering to provide additional protections against digital stalking and tracking of someone without their knowledge.
“The new use of malware essentially gives everyone the opportunity to be their own personal intelligence collection agency,” said Tarleton. “Technology today allows people to take personal data without knowledge or consent with the intention of committing a malicious act from each one of us at any time.”
Tarleton, a former senior defense intelligence analyst for the Pentagon, says HB 2678 offers additional protections as a follow up to the Washington Cybercrimes Act passed by lawmakers in 2016.
As is often the case, new technologies come online much faster than new laws. When new technologies are developed that aid in criminal activities, it is imperative that new laws catch up with new technologies that can be used in harmful ways.
This bill will provide enhanced privacy and security for Washington residents by expanding the scope of computer trespass, electronic data tampering, and spoofing crimes.
It would also broaden the definition of “computer” to include all electronic devices that perform logical, arithmetic, or memory functions by manipulating electronic or magnetic impulses, and also includes all equipment related to the computer in a system or network.
HB 2678 now goes to the Senate for consideration. You can follow the progress of this bill on Rep. Tarleton’s bill blog.
Rep. Tarleton’s committee testimony in support of HB 2678 (1/23/18)
Rep. Tarleton’s floor speech in support of HB 2678 (2/7/18)