FCC intends to crack down on Internet fraud and data theft

The Federal Communications Commission is looking to crack down on Internet crime such as fraud and data theft. A statement from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called for “smart, practical, voluntary solutions” to the problems posed by Internet crime.

Internet commerce is worth nearly $8 trillion annually and is poised to expand. But Genachowski estimates that around 8.4 million credit card numbers are stolen each year, and along with other forms of fraud and data theft, Internet crime threatens further growth.

To combat the problem, the FCC has proposed a few guidelines for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that are looking for ways to improve security and their overall user experience. These guidelines include:

  • Contacting users whose computers have been drawn into a botnet—a network of hijacked computers used to send spam email
  • Improve traffic routing efficiency to reduce the possibility that a connection may be hijacked
  • Assisting customers in removing malicious software from their computers

Security experts believe such measures are overdue, given the ever-increasing economic importance of web-based commerce.

The full report from Reuters can be found here.

As a result of government crackdowns on Internet crime, the line between legitimate usage and criminal activity may become more difficult to distinguish. Those suspected of web-based criminal activity are encouraged to seek qualified legal counsel to help protect their rights.

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