The Virginia Joint Commission on Technology & Science (JCOTS) Cybercrimes Advisory Committee

I was recently appointed to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Joint Commission on Technology & Science Cybercrimes Advisory Committee. The general purpose of the advisory committee is to study and advise on key cybercrime issues under consideration by JCOTS and by the Virginia legislature.

The focus for this year’s advisory committee is computer trespass and cell phone spam.
Specifically, we will be studying HB 254 (2006) and HB 1354 (2006) during the 2006 legislative interim.  We will work to determine what changes need to be made, if any, to further refine these bills.

HB 254 ammends the Commonwealth’s existing computer tresspass statute by adding three provisions prohibiting certain forms of spyware. In addition to the three provisions, there was a proposed amendment exempting certain software providers from the three spyware provisions.

HB 1354 attempts to prohibit unsolicited text messages (spam) sent to wireless devices in the Commonwealth. However, both the CAN-SPAM Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulate certain types of messages sent to wireless devices. This advisory committee will need to determine what types of messages the state may regulate and if there is a sufficient need for regulation at this time.

During our first meeting in late July, the Cybercrimes Committee also discussed ideas on how to combat eCommerce fraud, pharming, phishing and MySpace.com safety problems.

I was very impressed by both the legislators and the citizen advisors. There are a lot of smart folks in Virginia thinking, proactively, about how to make the Internet a safer place for all of us, and I will keep you up to date on our work over the course of the year.

The Cybercrimes Advisory Committee consists of the following members:

Virginia Legislators:

Citizen Members:

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