Georgia Vetoes Hacking Bill… For Now

May 29, 2018  |  By Holly Dragoo

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed State Senate Bill 315, the so-called “computer snooping” bill, that would have made it illegal to access digital networks without permission. Aimed originally at deterring hacker activity with fines and misdemeanor charges, the law potentially would have negatively affected businesses whose sole focus is to look for security flaws to improve network defense. In a statement, Governor Deal said he hoped the authors of the bill could produce a new draft that strikes a balance between national security, data privacy, and technology business development.

IISP Analyst Holly Dragoo: "The bill itself, and how far it managed to go in the legislative process is an indicator of how little lawmakers understand about cyber network intrusions. Hackers, by definition, are present on networks without authorized access. As a remotely accessed crime (executed from literally most anywhere in the world) it’s hard to imagine a hacker being deterred by a $5,000 fine, or a state misdemeanor in the state of Georgia, let alone even being aware of the local law. While the veto is quite a victory for the tech industry, it’s not clear whether they are out of the woods yet. Next year’s legislative session will see a new Governor presiding over the veto pen."


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