During a panel at SXSW on Saturday, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) introduced a proposal for a bill that would devote $20 million to prosecuting cybercrime.

The legislation, known as the Cybercrime Enforcement Training Assistance Act, would establish the fund which would be used to train law enforcement, prosecutors, and emergency dispatchers in how to recognize and properly address cybercrime, as well as to extradite criminals across state lines, according to The Verge.

Police departments are notoriously ill-equipped to deal with these sorts of crimes—often dismissing claims as unenforceable or bothersome, but legal.

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BuzzFeed reports:

Over the past year, [Clark has] advanced a bundle of policies designed to protect women and minorities from internet-enabled crimes that often go unpunished or unrecognized. Criminalizing the publication of non-consensual pornography and designating “swatting” as illegal are among Clark’s recent initiatives on Capitol Hill...

Clark herself was the victim of a “swatting” attempt last month. After an anonymous call was made on a Sunday night warning of “an active shooter” with “shots fired” in Clark’s home, several police officers were dispatched to her residence, swarming the front of her house with long-guns drawn.

After the incident, Clark said: “No mother should have to answer the door to the police in the middle of the night and fear for her family’s safety simply because an anonymous person disagrees with her.”


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

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Image via AP.