BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 195


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          195 (Chau)


          As Amended  June 23, 2015


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 75-0 | (April 23,    |SENATE: |39-0  | (September 4,   |
          |           |      |2015)          |        |      |2015)            |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  PUB. S.


          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.


          The Senate amendments specify that nothing in this section  
          precludes prosecution under any other law that provides greater  
          punishment. 


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Punishes any person who knowingly and without permission  
            accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer  
            system, or computer network as follows: 
             a)   For a first violation that does not result in injury, an  








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               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 (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.


             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 (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  








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            more computer systems and input/output devices including, but  
            not limited to, display terminals, remote systems, mobile  
            devices, and printers connected by telecommunication  
            facilities.
          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY, this bill:


          1)Provided 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)Provided 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)   Specified that this includes persons operating Web sites  
               that offer to assist others in locating hacking services; 
             b)   Defined "hacking services" as assistance in the  
               unauthorized access to computers, computer systems, or  
               computer data in violation of specified computer crimes;  
               and


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


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.  










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          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.


          "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  








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          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 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:  
          0001211