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Statement of the Honorable Lamar Smith, Chairman

Hearing on Fighting Cyber Crime - Hearing 3 of 3:

Efforts by the

June 14, 2001



This is the third and final hearing in a series on cyber crime. I expect that, as the other two hearing have done, this hearing will offer valuable insight for Congress to assist in the country's efforts against cyber crime.

At the prior two hearings, federal and local law enforcement officials told us that better training, additional resources and increased cooperation and coordination are needed.

The witnesses provided us with examples of successful cooperation between state and local law enforcement. They all agreed that Congress should assist in establishing more regional computer forensic laboratories as a way to pool resources and enhance coordination. In addition, the law enforcement witnesses testified that the statutes governing processes and procedures to investigate and prosecute cyber crime must be updated.

The Subcommittee also heard from the privacy and civil rights community. The witness urged the Subcommittee to consider privacy issues in drafting any legislation, which we will do as a matter of course.

Today, the Subcommittee on Crime will hear testimony from representatives of private industry regarding their efforts to deal with the growing problem of cyber crime. Businesses are losing millions of dollars from cyber crime activities that range from intrusions to piracy.

In confronting this issue, the business community faces a dilemma. Do they report cyber crime at the risk of losing the public's confidence in their ability to protect customer information? Or, do they not report the event and risk additional losses in money and business and perhaps repeat attacks? In making this decision, businesses should remember blackmailers rarely ask for one lump sum and bullies thrive on the vulnerable.

With so much at stake, businesses have a strong incentive to prevent cyber crime. In addition to relying on the criminal laws, businesses are cooperating with federal, state and local governments and law enforcement to share information and educate the community to reduce vulnerabilities.

Legislation, alone, cannot adequately combat the level of cyber crime we face today. Private industry that wants to protect their businesses and their customers provide the first line of defense. The private sector will always be ahead of government on the latest technology, and must be willing to cooperate with each other and with law enforcement.


I hope to hear from the witnesses on exactly how their companies and businesses are working towards better cooperation. I also would like to hear about there concerns and suggestions regarding legislation and thank them for their participation.

At this time, I recognize Bobby Scott, the ranking Member, for an opening statement.