Modern technology has transformed our lives. To be sure, we can scarcely get through the day without accessing the Internet - from a desktop computer, or, increasingly, via iPads or smart phones.
There are incredible positive benefits to this wonderful new world of constant communication and ubiquitous information, but there are also dangers. Sadly, criminals are exploiting the Internet to commit identity theft, make inappropriate contact with minors and engage in a whole host of illegal activity.
Shockingly, despite the explosion in Internet activity, authorities have no standard format for reporting crimes that are associated, and the state Department of Justice does not include Internet-generated crimes in its annual reporting statistics.
It is high time to track the criminal activity we know is occurring via the Internet, social networking websites and smart phones. We need to understand exactly what is happening so we can respond appropriately.
That is why I have authored Senate Bill 1389. This legislation directs the California attorney general to establish a standard format for law enforcement agencies to report Internet crimes and requires the state Department of Justice to publish those statistics on its website.
SB 1389 will help guide policymakers and police investigators across the state, as they combat criminal activity associated with the growing use of the Internet and electronic communications.
I am glad to report this bill was passed by the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. As this bill continues through the legislative process, I hope you will join the conversation and let me know your opinion.
You can learn more on my website, http://www.sen.ca.gov/corbett. As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to working on your behalf in the California State Senate.
Ellen M. Corbett
Senate Majority Leader