A cybercrime bill introduced last fall by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) got a second wind last week when it was appended to another bill, passed by the Senate and sent for consideration by the House.

The Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act would give victims of identity theft the ability to seek restitution for loss of time and money spent restoring credit and other effects of identity theft; make cyber-extortion a crime; increase the number of cyber offenses classified as felonies, including provisions that would make it easier to prosecute botmasters and spammers, among other provisions.

Many bills related to cyber security, identity theft and breach notification have stalled in Congress in the past several years, lacking consensus or political will to gain passage. This one, appended last week to a Republican-favored measure that would extend Secret Service protection to former vice presidents, seems to have a greater chance of passage.

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