Cyber Security

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The battle against cyber attacks is being joined in Virginia.  Political leaders are looking for new weapons to fight the wave of breaches and hack attacks that seem to be ramping up.

Until recently, having a so-called ‘fire wall’ on your computer or network was the way to keep your data safe; but, clearly, not any more.

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The State Crime Commission is wrestling with how to craft balanced legislation that addresses the growing problem of underage teens who take sexually explicit images of themselves and send them to others.

The members’ concern is heightened by some widely published cases—including a Louisa County “sexting” ring involving 100 teens and 1,000 images of minors posted on Instagram. 

But they’re also concerned that the penalties in existing laws designed for adult child predators may be too steep for teens.

Over the last several weeks, Governor McAuliffe has had the daunting task of reviewing 834 bills that were passed and sent to him by the General Assembly.

One stack of legislation on his desk addresses public safety concerns, including creating a new crime for a vindictive act that’s peculiar to the digital age: “revenge porn.”

A bipartisan group of state senators and delegates has formed the General Assembly’s first-ever “Personal, Privacy Protection Caucus” of lawmakers. 

Their goal is to refine the law to prevent state and local governments from large-scale gathering and storage of personal data—especially if it takes place without individual warrants. 

The members say they're also trying to strike the right balance between public safety and Fourth Amendment protections.

The caucus plans to hold hearings and consult law enforcement this year to craft new legislation.

 

It’s a sign of the times that Virginia lawmakers may soon consider a bill to ban what’s popularly known as “revenge porn” – the posting of naked pictures by an ex-lover online. 
 

Albemarle County Prosecutor Denise Lunsford is a powerful woman, and when a former boyfriend posted nude pictures of her on Twitter, she went to court.  The pictures came down, but there was no legal penalty.  Now, Delegate Marcus Simon is stepping up to change that.  He sees revenge porn as a kind of assault and says Lunsford is not alone.

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