Press Releases

Chairman Nadler Statement for the Markup of H.R. 4977, the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act

Washington, December 8, 2021

Washington, D.C. - Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening statement, as prepared, during the markup of H.R. 4977, the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act:

"H.R. 4977 the 'Better Cybercrime Metrics Act,' is an important bipartisan measure to advance our understanding of cybercrime so that we may better prevent and combat its occurrence.  

"As our society continues to be dependent on computer and internet technology, criminal actors find more ways to harm unsuspecting victims and launch sophisticated attacks.  These activities include email phishing, ransomware, social engineering schemes, identity theft, extortion, impersonation, and fraud.  

"These attacks are costly.  The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, which takes in cybercrime complaints, has reported increases in both the number of complaints and monetary losses each year for the last five years.

"It received over 700,000 complaints in 2020, amounting to $4.2 billion in losses.  Since the Internet Crime Complaint Center relies on reports from victims, this is likely an underestimate of the true cost and scale of cybercrime.

"Victims of these crimes include individuals, businesses, and government agencies.  The effects can be devastating, from a family trying to protect their finances after identity theft, to gasoline shortages following the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline after a ransomware attack.

"Just this past weekend, a cyberattack took down webpages of the Maryland Department of Health, blocking access to important health information and services.  COVID-19 only compounded these threats, with more and more work being conducted online, and new opportunities to impersonate government agencies or health providers.

"The Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act of 1988 directs the Attorney General to collect and classify national data on federal crimes, but we have not updated our crime tracking systems to track and report cybercrime in a uniform way.  H.R. 4977, the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act will help us address this problem by directing the Department of Justice to work with the National Academy of Sciences, law enforcement, business leaders, cybercrime experts, and other stakeholders to create a taxonomy of the different types of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes.  

"It also directs the Attorney General to include cybercrime in the National Incident-Based Reporting System and directs the Bureau of Justice Statistics to include cybercrime in the National Crime Victimization Survey.  

"Finally, this legislation directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the effectiveness of reporting mechanisms for cybercrime and disparities in cybercrime data reporting as compared to other types of crime data.  With these important steps in this bipartisan legislation, we can develop a better understanding of cybercrime and take informed action to prevent it.

"This legislation is supported by law enforcement groups and those with particular expertise in cyber crime including the National Fraternal Order of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Cybercrime Support Network.

"I thank Representatives Abigail Spanberger, Blake Moore, Andrew Garbarino, and Crime Subcommittee Chairwoman Sheila Jackson Lee for introducing this bipartisan legislation and I urge all of my colleagues to support it."