Computer crimes; website redirection, penalty. (HB554)

Introduced By

Del. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Computer crimes; website redirection; penalty. Adds a Class 6 felony to the list of computer trespass crimes if a person, with malicious intent, intentionally alters the markup language or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a website so as to redirect a user from his intended URL or website destination to a third-party URL or website. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/07/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 084730520
01/07/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/08/2008Impact statement from VCSC (HB554)
01/18/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB554)
02/12/2008Left in Courts of Justice


Waldo Jaquith writes:

This is a bill so poorly thought out that it makes my teeth hurt. This would seem to make illegal significant portions of the state's website.

Tim McCormack writes:

(I sent the following to Del. Griffith:)

I assume that HB554 is intended to protect against phishing schemes. However, it needs someone with more technical experience with internet protocol to rewrite it -- it is currently far too vague.

My suggestion is to reintroduce the bill with less emphasis on mechanism and more emphasis on intended consequences. Phishing can be accomplished in more ways than you'd want to codify into law, and law cannot keep up with the details of technology.

I would instead suggest that the law be amended to define phishing and attach a penalty to it. Phishing can be defined as electronically soliciting a user for personal or financial information under false pretenses or in the guise of a legitimate organization or entity.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Thank you for doing that, Tim. I didn't get beyond thinking "wow, this bill is so bad." It's a good and necessary thing for phishing to be illegal, and your proposal to improve it is far better than my kvetching. I hope Del. Griffith's office has the good sense to consider your suggestions.