The House of Representatives passed the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act March 29, which aims to give the Federal government increased visibility into cybercrime data, sending the bill to the President’s desk for his signature.

The bill – introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii – passed the Senate last December and made it out of the House Judiciary Committee shortly after that. The bill provides guidelines on how to improve cybercrime data and should give Federal law enforcement more tools to combat cybercrime.

“To protect people and fight online crimes … we need to understand how often, when, and where they’re happening,” Sen. Schatz said in a press release after the bill’s House passage. “Our bipartisan bill will give us the data we need to go after criminals and support victims of cybercrime, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

Once signed into law the bill will:

  • Require the FBI to report cybercrime metrics and cyber-enabled crime categories like it does for other types of property crimes;
  • Encourage local and Federal law enforcement agencies to report cybercrimes to the FBI;
  • Authorize a National Academies of Science study to “create a taxonomy for cybercrime incidents in consultation with Federal, state, local, and tribal stakeholders, criminologists, and business leaders that would inform the FBI’s reporting of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime;” and
  • Require the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the Justice Department and Census Bureau to include cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime-related questions on its annual National Crime Victimization Survey.

“The Better Cybercrime Metrics Act will give law enforcement a clearer picture of online crimes in the United States by requiring the FBI to integrate cybercrime incidents into its current reporting streams to better understand all the types of crime that Americans face,” Sen. Schatz’s office said in the release. “As cybercriminals continue to target vulnerable populations, this data will help lawmakers make an informed case for policy changes to curtail the cybercrime wave, keep Americans safe, and bring these criminals to justice.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.