Missouri AG candidate vows to boost cyber-crime fighting

Chris Rizo Sep. 30, 2008, 2:50pm

Michael Gibbons (R)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)-State Sen. Michael Gibbons, the Republican nominee for Missouri attorney general, says if elected he would create a task force to tackle cyber-crimes, including identity theft and child exploitation.

In outlining his plan, Gibbons said the task force would assist local authorities and prosecutors in addition to helping to coordinate statewide efforts to curb Internet-related crime.

"There will be zero tolerance with me as attorney general for anyone who uses the internet as a weapon," Gibbons said. "I will aggressively go after the vermin who prey on our children and the scam artists who defraud hard-working Missourians."

In 2000, Attorney General Jay Nixon created the High Technology and Computer Crime Unit. Last year, the unit conducted 53 investigations and helped train more than 5,000 people to combat cyber-crime.

Gibbons said his plan would bolster existing efforts in the AG's office. He said he wants Missourians to, for instance, be alerted by e-mail when scams are detected. He also wants to double the $1.5 million annual operating budget for the cyber-crime unit.

"We must do everything we can to protect our children and that is why I am committed to creating a new Cyber Crimes Unit within the Attorney General's office, in close cooperation with local law enforcement officials, to capture and prosecute those who prey on our children," Gibbons said.

Gibbons is running against Democratic state Sen. Chris Koster to succeed Nixon, the Democratic nominee for governor.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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