Biden signs bipartisan measure strengthening cybercrime data collection, reporting

In what was a culmination of a rare bipartisan effort to bolster federal law enforcement capabilities in the area of sophisticated, technology-enabled offenses, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed legislation known as the “Better Cybercrime Metrics Act,” according to The Hill.

The measure was unanimously approved by the Senate in late 2021 and was passed in the House earlier this year by an overwhelmingly bipartisan margin of 377-48, as the outlet added.

As the National Law Review noted, a primary way in which companies as well as individuals engaged in business dealings with the government can commit actionable fraud is by “knowingly violating obligations to monitor and report cybersecurity incidents and breaches,” something the new law aims to address.

As such, included in the law is a directive to the Department of Justice to embark on a series of new initiatives meant to boost cybercrime data collection.

For instance, a new classification will be added to the National Incident-Based Reporting System meant to capture all reports of cybercrime at the federal, state, and local levels.

In addition, the Government Accountability Office will now be tasked with exploring the efficacy of different methods of reporting cybercrimes and examining disparities in how and when cybercrime data is disseminated.

Democrat Den. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, responsible for the bill’s introduction in the upper chamber, lauded the measure’s enactment on Thursday, as The Hill further noted.

“By collecting data on how often, when, and where cyberattacks are happening, our bipartisan bill will better protect people in Hawaii from online crimes like those against our transit and water systems in Honolulu, help us support victims of online crimes, and give us more tools to go after the criminals who perpetrate them,” Schatz declared.

While it certainly remains to be seen whether the new law succeeds in achieving its stated purposes with regard to cybercrime, the fact that it passed both chambers in such an uncharacteristically bipartisan manner is indeed noteworthy in and of itself, given the seemingly intractable political divide that pervades the legislative branch.