BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 195


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          195 (Chau)


          As Amended  April 6, 2015


          Majority vote


           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                   |Noes                |
          |----------------+------+-----------------------+--------------------|
          |Public Safety   |6-0   |Quirk, Melendez,       |                    |
          |                |      |Gonzalez, Lackey, Low, |                    |
          |                |      |Santiago               |                    |
          |----------------+------+-----------------------+--------------------|
          |Privacy         |10-0  |Gatto, Wilk, Baker,    |                    |
          |                |      |Calderon, Chau,        |                    |
          |                |      |Cooper, Dababneh,      |                    |
          |                |      |Dahle, Gordon, Low     |                    |
          |----------------+------+-----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |16-0  |Gomez, Bigelow, Bonta, |                    |
          |                |      |Calderon, Chang, Daly, |                    |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,     |                    |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,        |                    |
          |                |      |Holden, Jones, Quirk,  |                    |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner, Weber, |                    |
          |                |      |Wood                   |                    |
           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          SUMMARY:  Makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months,  
          for any person to solicit another to join in the commission of  
          specified crimes relating to unauthorized access of computer  
          systems.  Specifically, this bill:  








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          1)Provides that every person who, with the intent that the crime  
            be committed, solicits another to commit one of a number of  
            specified computer crimes shall be punished by imprisonment in a  
            county jail for a period not to exceed six months.  Every  
            subsequent violation of this subdivision by that same person  
            shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding  
            one year.


          2)Provides that every person who, with the intent that the crime  
            be committed, offers to solicit assistance for another to  
            conduct activities in violation of a number of specified  
            computer crimes shall be punished by imprisonment in a county  
            jail for a period not to exceed six months.  Every subsequent  
            violation of this subdivision by that same person shall be  
            punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one  
            year: 


             a)   Specifies that this includes persons operating websites  
               that offer to assist others in locating hacking services; 


             b)   Defines "hacking services" as assistance in the  
               unauthorized access to computers, computer systems, or  
               computer data in violation of specified computer crimes; and


             c)   Specifies that this offense shall be proven by the  
               testimony of one witness and corroborating circumstances.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Punishes any person who knowingly and without permission  
            accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system,  








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            or computer network as follows: 


             a)   For a first violation that does not result in injury, an  
               infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000.


             b)   For any violation that results in a victim expenditure in  
               an amount not greater than $5,000, or for a second or  
               subsequent violation, by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by  
               imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by  
               both that fine and imprisonment.


             c)   For any violation that results in a victim expenditure in  
               an amount greater than $5,000), by a fine not exceeding  
               $10,000, or by imprisonment pursuant to Penal Code Section  
               1170 subdivision (h) for 16 months, or two or three years, or  
               by both that fine and imprisonment, or by a fine not  
               exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not  
               exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. 


          2)Punishes any person who knowingly and without permission  
            provides or assists in providing a means of accessing a  
            computer, computer system, or public safety infrastructure  
            computer system computer, computer system, or computer network  
            as follows: 


             a)   For a first violation that does not result in injury, an  
               infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000.


             b)   For any violation that results in a victim expenditure in  
               an amount not greater than $5,000, or for a second or  
               subsequent violation, by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by  
               imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by  
               both that fine and imprisonment.








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             c)   For any violation that results in a victim expenditure in  
               an amount greater than $5,000, by a fine not exceeding  
               $10,000, or by imprisonment pursuant to Penal Code Section  
               1170 subdivision (h) for 16 months, or two or three years, or  
               by both that fine and imprisonment, or by a fine not  
               exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not  
               exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. 


          3)Defines the following terms as follows:  "Computer network"  
            means any system that provides communications between one or  
            more computer systems and input/output devices including, but  
            not limited to, display terminals, remote systems, mobile  
            devices, and printers connected by telecommunication facilities.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, moderate nonreimbursable local costs for incarceration,  
          offset to a degree by fee revenue as this type of crimes will  
          probably be added to another computer crime charge.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "Today, we live in a digitally  
          connected world where more of our devices are equipped with  
          sensors and connected to the internet.  This includes our phones,  
          cars and household appliances; all of which perform functions that  
          where once exclusive to our computers. 


          "This new form of digital access has also spawned a new type of  
          criminal, one who can invade our homes and offices not by breaking  
          down doors and windows, but by breaking into our computer networks  
          from the convenience and safety of their own homes.  These  
          cybercrimes range from breaking into someone's computer network to  
          steal financial information to other crimes such as corporate  
          espionage, fraud, and extortion.









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          "Under current law, it is a crime to solicit another to commit  
          certain crimes, such as bribery, kidnapping, and robbery, among  
          others.  In addition, it is a crime for someone to knowingly hack  
          into another's computer network without permission.  However, it  
          is not a crime to solicit someone to knowingly and without  
          permission hack into a computer network or smartphone. 


          "Cybercrimes have greater and longer lasting effects on victims,  
          because the personal information stolen can result in identify  
          theft, fraud, and personal embarrassment, all of which could take  
          years to recover from, if ever.  In fact, according to the FBI's  
          Internet Crime Complaint Center, in 2013, it received over 200,000  
          consumer complaints about online scams, which resulted in a loss  
          of over 781 million dollars; an almost 50% increase from the year  
          before. 


          "In recent years, we have seen the growth of so called  
          Hacker-for-Hire websites where individuals solicit hackers to  
          perform certain projects.  These websites work in different ways.   
          Some work by requiring the person to submit a description of the  
          hacking job along with contact information.  The website then sets  
          up a time to connect the person with a hacker over the phone or  
          video-conferencing to complete the process.  Others websites work  
          by creating a platform that allows customers to register and post  
          projects on the website for different hackers to bid on.  The  
          websites then holds the money in an escrow account until both  
          parties agree that the transaction has been completed.  The  
          website then takes a commission from each transaction and releases  
          the money. 


          "Hacker-for-Hire projects range from recovering lost passwords to  
          tracking stolen devices.  But some of these websites also provide  
          a platform for individuals seeking illegal hacking services from  
          less than ethical hackers, such as installing spyware on devices  
          and gaining access to the email and social media accounts of  








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          unsuspecting victims. 


          "AB 195 would make it a crime to solicit someone to knowingly and  
          without permission gain access to a computer network or  
          smartphone.  This includes offering to obtain or assist in  
          locating hacking services.  The bill would also clarify that a  
          computer network includes smartphones.  This bill would make any  
          violation punishable by imprisonment not to exceed six months.   
          Any subsequent violation would be punishable by imprisonment not  
          to exceed one year."  


          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744  FN:  
          0000176