Press Statement by Jim Hood, NAAG President and Mississippi Attorney General

Press Statement by Jim Hood, NAAG President and Mississippi Attorney General on Protecting Consumers and Businesses from Online Criminals

“Each president of the National Association of Attorneys General has a presidential initiative and summit, which concentrates on pressing law enforcement issues. My presidential initiative is focusing on protecting our consumers and businesses from online criminals using new technologies. The initiative is called, Protecting Our Digital Lives: New Challenges for Attorneys General.

“Crime is moving to the Internet and law enforcement must be ready. Almost every crime we investigate today involves a cell phone or other digital evidence. The cyber challenges to attorneys general range from cyber bullying, to child porn, to human trafficking, to hackers and data miners stealing our private information, to the impact on intellectual property theft by the advent of 3D printers, and to hackers of our defense systems. It is scary that our children can go online and engage in all kinds of illegal activity. Young children may not be able to get into a movie theater to watch an R movie, but they can watch it online while their parents are not watching.

“Over the last year, our nation has had multiple, huge data breaches in retail stores where personal information was taken. It is my hope that we attorneys general can use these recent cases to see what practical safeguards can be put in place to help better protect our nation’s consumers.

“Hackers compromise systems and threaten to delete all data therein if people refuse to pay a ransom. Unfortunately, victims of this extortion crime are individuals, small businesses and municipalities who can’t afford not to pay. Counterfeiting and piracy of U.S. products occurring on rogue websites is a serious issue. Of particular concern to me is the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other such dangerous goods. Counterfeit drugs may be loaded with dangerous or ineffective substances, either of which can be deadly. These types of crimes hurt our people and they hurt our nation.

We attorneys general will continue to protect our states from the piracy of our intellectual property.

“The highlight of this initiative will be attorneys general and others joining me for the NAAG Presidential Initiative Summit in Biloxi, Miss., April 12-14, with an agenda dedicated to these issues.

“We attorneys general are on the frontline of the war against digital crime. I hope to add strength to our nation’s fight through the knowledge gained in this initiative.”