Ward’s bill aimed at tackling cyber crime

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

An Alabaster state senator will be introducing a bill on Feb. 23 aimed at combating what he called a “serious” cyber-crime problem in Alabama.

Ward

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said he plans to introduce the Senate version of the Alabama digital crime prevention bill while state Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, will introduce the House of Representatives version.

The bill will give the state “21st-century technology” to combat online crimes such as identity theft, harassment and monetary theft, Ward said.

“If you have 21st century crimes, we need to have 21st century ways to fight them,” Ward said. “We’ve got a lot of cyber crimes on the books. It’s a big problem for our state. It’s a big economic issue.”

Ward said Alabama currently has “no way to go after” those in other states who commit Internet crimes against Alabama residents.

Ward said Alabama law currently does not lay out where out-of-state cyber crime suspects should be tried for their crimes.

“In the past, if someone broke into someone’s house or business and stole something, it was easy because you just prosecuted them where the crime took place,” Ward said, noting the bill would allow out-of-state cyber crime suspects to be prosecuted where the crime took place in Alabama.

“Technology has changed the way we operate. A lot of crime has moved to the Internet,” Ward said. “This will be a big bill for our state.”