Cybercrime Act of 2007 - good or bad?

Normally I am very leery of laws that try to define and outlaw cyber crime because legislators tend to do a very poor job of writing the laws, and it usually just feels like grandstanding rather than anything of substance.  Also, the legislative system is not built to be nimble (which is probably a good thing), hence it is usually ten revs behind the actual practices of criminals.

However, I have read a couple of things (here and here) about the Cybercrime Act of 2007, and some of it looks pretty good.  Here's an excerpt from the Senate's press release:

The Cyber-Crime Act updates and improves the current cyber-crime law. Right now, felony provisions that outlaw damaging a computer network apply only if a cyber-criminal causes more than $5,000 worth of damage in any given year. If a hacker damages 1,500 personal computers, law enforcement faces the nearly impossible challenge of identifying all the victims proving that the aggregate damage caused exceeds $5,000. The Cyber-Crime Act closes this loophole by allowing law enforcement to prove, as an alternative to the $5,000 damage amount, that the conduct in question damaged 10 or more computers. The Cyber-Crime Act also fixes a current loophole concerning extortion, by outlawing not only threats to damage computers, but also threats to reveal confidential information illegally obtained from computers. The Act also bans the creation of a bot-net, a network of comprised computers intended to be used to commit an online crime; provides for the forfeiture of computer equipment used in the commission of a crime; and directs the Sentencing Commission to update the sentencing guidelines applicable to computer crimes.

Of course, they are also outlawing threats to networks and threats to use information obtained illegally.  Not sure how that works.  I know it is illegal in most states to threaten someone with harm or death, especially if you are able to make good on the threat in a short timeframe.  Not sure if outlawing a threat to harm a network is along the same lines or not.  And I am not sure why you have to outlaw the threat of using illegally obtained information.  But of course, I am not a lawyer, and I do not play one on TV.

Also, they say the law outlaws bot nets.  Still trying to find that in the wording of the amendment (link to PDF).

But what I like most, if it does not get lost in the bureaucracy, is all the extra money it gives to the Secret Service and FBI for hiring agents for tracking down cyber criminals and $10 mil to the Dept of Defense for prosecuting these crimes.  Of course, there are some of us paranoid types that thinks this is a bad thing, but oh well.

Related:
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