Common hacking method, keystroke logging, becomes illegal July 1

Today Governor Sean Parnell made keystroke logging, a common computer hacking method, illegal when he signed HB 127, the omnibus crime bill, into law. This language, which was originally proposed by Reps. Pete Petersen and Lindsey Holmes (both D-Anchorage), updates Alaska’s computer hacking laws to make it illegal to use a keystroke logger to steal information as it is being entered into a computer.

“Right now, using software or spyware to obtain someone’s personal information is illegal, so criminals are using keystroke loggers more and more,” said Rep. Pete Petersen. “It’s important that our laws keep up with technology because no matter how information is stolen from a computer, the victims’ privacy is just as violated.”

The provision from Petersen and Holmes’ bill (HB 23) was added to HB 127 in the Senate. It makes it illegal for someone to install a keystroke logger or to use wireless means to record keystrokes on a computer he or she has no right to access. Previously, it was only illegal to hack into a computer to steal information, but not to use a device that intercepts the information as it is being entered.

“We have to work diligently to keep laws up to date with the rate that technology changes,” said Rep. Lindsey Holmes, “This law closes a loophole created by new technology and protects the safety and private information of Alaskans.”

The keystroke logging provisions of HB 127 take effect July 1.

For additional information please contact David Dunsmore in Rep. Petersen’s office at 269-0265 or James Waldo in Rep. Holmes’ office at 269-0130.


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