SXSW: Dem. lawmaker plans to introduce online harassment legislation

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) continues to raise awareness of online harassment, telling a SXSW audience she'll introduce a bill to help law enforcement.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) continues to raise awareness of online harassment, telling a SXSW audience she'll introduce a bill to help law enforcement.

Cyberstalking and harassment hasn't gotten a lot of press recently, possibly drowned out by other security issues like the FBI-Apple case and the noise surrounding the presidential election, but it's still a front-burner issue with Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.).

Clark proposed legislation at the South By Southwest Interactive festival (SXSW) that would make it easier for law enforcement agencies to nab perpetrators and make the charges stick.

Clark, herself targeted in a swatting incident, told BuzzFeed News that with the bill, which will create a $20 million grant to aid local and state law enforcement, “We hope to raise awareness and develop local expertise for law enforcement so we are able to prosecute more of these cases.”  Another $4 million will go toward a national resource center for research and technical information aimed at law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

The lawmaker, who has pursued numerous legislative initiatives aimed at related issues, helped keep online harassment front at center at SXSW,  along with many others pressuring organizers after they dropped a panel on online harassment. Those efforts paid off and the festival ended up expanding its coverage, offering numerous panels that are keyed on harassment and discrimination, the BuzzFeed report said. 

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