Amid Congress’ loud brawling over energy legislation the week of July 28, lawmakers quietly managed to approve a bill to expand the rights of cyber-crime victims. Approved in a unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate, the bill would allow identity theft victims to seek restitution in federal court for the loss of time and money spent in restoring their credit, eWeek reports. The bill, called the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act, would also make it a felony to use spyware or keylogging programs to damage 10 or more computers, regardless of the aggregate amount of damage, and would ensure that identity thieves who impersonated businesses to steal personal data would be prosecuted under federal laws. Currently, the law allows only for the prosecution of identity theft against an individual. The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act now goes to the House for approval.
"Because identity theft schemes are much more sophisticated and cunning in today’s digital era, our bill also expands the scope of the federal identity theft statutes so that the law keeps up with the ingenuity of today’s identity thieves," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in July 30 floor remarks.