Maui state Rep. George Fontaine last week lauded Gov. Neil Abercrombie for recently signing four cyber-crime bills into law.
"I'm proud of my colleagues for equipping law enforcement with this critical tool to protect residents from computer crimes," said Fontaine, a Republican who represents South Maui.
HB 1777 authorizes district and circuit court judges to order the production of records held by entities outside of the state in all criminal cases. The intent is to help prosecutors obtain electronic evidence that is often stored by Mainland organizations.
HB 1788 toughens computer crime laws by modeling existing identity theft laws defining computer fraud as an aggravated form of theft. It also imposes harsher penalties by raising each existing crime one grade higher. Most notably, the bill creates a new offense of Computer Fraud in the Third Degree, a class C felony. The crime would involve knowingly accessing a computer or computer system or network with intent to commit theft in the third or fourth degree.
HB 2295 expands the existing offense of Use of a Computer in the Commission of a Separate Crime to include situations where a perpetrator knowingly uses a computer to perform certain acts against a victim or intended victim of harassment or stalking. The bill clarifies that the offense also is committed when the perpetrator knowingly uses a computer to pursue, surveil, contact, harass, annoy or alarm a victim or intended victim.
SB 2222 addresses "sexting" and will create two new offenses. One offense would prohibit an adult from intentionally or knowingly soliciting a minor to electronically transmit a nude image (photo or video) of a minor to anyone, which would be a misdemeanor. The second would prohibit a minor from knowingly electronically transmitting a nude image of him/herself or any other minor to any person or intentionally or knowingly soliciting another minor to do so, which would be a petty misdemeanor; and prohibit a person of any age from knowingly possessing a nude image transmitted by a minor.