The U.S. legal system is failing to bring prosecutions in cybercrime cases. This is despite being presented with online fraud and abuse complaints that number in the thousands.
The Center for American Progress and the Center for Democracy and Technology have issued a report titled “Online Consumers at Risk and the Role of State Attorneys General.” It claims that in 2006 and 2007, U.S. authorities, with the exception of several notable standouts, brought few significant cases to trial in response to online crime complaints.
The report's authors claim that most states supplied a top 10 list that ranked general consumer complaint categories. In 2007, 24 out of the 30 states that did reported an internet-related category within their top 10.
However, the report claims that too often prosecutions based on complaints about online fraud and abuse tended to concentrate on sexual enticement of minors and child pornography. Such cases accounted for more than 60 percent of the cases highlighted in 2006 and '07 by the National Association of Attorneys General, the report said.
The researchers claim authorities must do more.
"Online consumers are now at risk," said Ari Schwartz, vice president and chief operating officer at the Center for Democracy and Technology. "Internet crime costs basically nothing to execute, can be highly lucrative, and involves little risk of being caught and punished. We need all 50 state attorneys general focused on this problem. Through committed action and vigorous enforcement, they can provide a powerful and much needed deterrent."