The House Judiciary Committee, which would be the natural home for Lofgren’s bill, was actually on the verge of expanding the CFAA’s provisions earlier this month, before a diverse coalition of advocacy groups including Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform succeeded in rallying the opposition. Critics of the CFAA took that as a victory, and a Democratic aide said the rapid withdrawal of the bill shows that the Judiciary Committee’s leadership is at least looking at action on the issue.
While many Internet activists view the CFAA and its punishments as draconian, law enforcement and prosecutors steadily maintain that the current tools they have to deal with cyber-criminals are inadequate. Those views are also why prosecutors are unlikely to heed congressional calls that they limit prosecutions of certain violations, which have risen with the increasing recognition that legislative action is unlikely.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.