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U.S. Attorney General Cuomo Attends DEFCON 2007, Promises Landmark Legislation August 4, 2007

Posted by chuckwh in DEFCON 2007, News and politics, trojan, trojan horse, trojan software, virus.

U.S. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo attended DEFCON 2007, a well known hacker’s conference, and announced before a packed media gathering that the Gore Administration was working on legislation that would significantly increase criminal penalties on the creators of viruses and other malware. “It’s a complex legal issue because you don’t want to ensnare any of the good guys, many of whom are here today, I might add, but overall I’d say we’re trying to come up with legislation that treats virus, and, especially, Trojan software makers, in the same way we treat other criminals.

U.S. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

“We’re not really doing that right now. This administration is especially interested in the notion of adding multiple counts to a court dossier so that you have the equivalent of, say, a million charges of breaking and entering against the developer of a Trojan horse. This would put away people for a very long time. Right now, we have what I would call an infinite loop when it comes to virus protection,” continued Cuomo. “We have a cottage industry of good guys chasing a very productive cottage industry of bad guys. With very little, if any, government involvement. I’m here to serve notice that this infinite loop is about to close with a termination statement that will put away malicious hackers for a very long time.”

The appearance of Cuomo stunned the crowd somewhat, especially when he was handed the microphone by Defcon founder Jeff Moss and announced that it was time to play the annual game, “Spot the Fed.” This, of course, prompted a huge round of applause.

Cuomo made a point of saying he found DEFCON 2007 a “very useful event.”

“We’re not here looking for the bad guys,” he said. “We’re here to work with the programmers who know and understand this stuff. Hopefully next year at this time I’ll be back with an announcement on some legislation with real teeth, but one of the reasons I came here was to try to reassure this community that we’re trying to tread carefully. I think there are enough circumstances existing today that demonstrate the fact that some software has only one purpose in mind, and we’re trying to craft some legislation that targets that and its creators.”



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