|The House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted on legislation that would ban most forms of Internet gambling, and a bill designed to increase penalties for crimes committed online. |
The committee considered H.R. 3215, the Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act, legislation offered by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that would update the Interstate Wire Act to clarify that it is illegal to use the Internet or other new technologies to operate a gambling business.
Under the bill, violators could face fines and up to five years in jail, or both.
Many of the nation's casinos and most powerful gaming interests strongly oppose the legislation out of concern it could shut them out of a fast-growing and increasingly lucrative business.
Several lawmakers sympathetic to the gaming industry's concerns are expected to offer amendments that would limit the reach of the bill.
The full committee also will take up the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2001, legislation that would change the way judges sentence people convicted of many crimes committed online.
The bill requires the U.S. Sentencing Commission to consider a number of new aspects of online crime in coming up with sentencing recommendations in criminal cases.
The commission would have to consider issues such as the level of sophistication of the attack, whether the crime was committed for commercial or private financial gain, and whether the offense involved an attack on government networks.
A separate provision in the bill would give liability protection to Internet service providers who make a 'good faith' effort to help law enforcement agencies track suspects over their networks.