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Pryor, Ayotte Applaud Passage of Safe Web Act Renewal

Bill Will Protect American Consumers From International Online Scams

Nov 15, 2012

WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today applauded Senate passage of legislation they introduced to renew the SAFE WEB Act, which aims to protect American consumers from spam, spyware, and other international fraud activities occurring over the Internet. The legislation now heads to the President for his signature.

Pryor and Ayotte, who both serve on the Senate Commerce Committee, said the legislation will extend until 2020 current law enforcement tools used to combat global Internet scams. The bill will provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with enforcement tools in five key areas: information sharing, investigative assistance, confidentiality, enhanced investigative and litigating tools; and enforcement relationships. Under the law, the FTC will be able to gather information and coordinate investigation efforts with foreign counterparts, as well as obtain monetary consumer redress in Internet fraud and deception cases.

"Today's Internet scams are costing American consumers and businesses billions," Senator Pryor said. "I'm pleased Congress passed this bipartisan legislation to help fight spam and other means of deception on an international scale."

"As a former prosecutor and Attorney General, I worked closely with law enforcement officials to protect consumers," said Senator Ayotte. "As we confront the growing problem of Internet crimes, this bipartisan legislation will help ensure that the FTC has the necessary tools to protect American consumers and businesses from online predators abroad."

According to the FTC, the number of consumer complaints against foreign businesses exceeded 100,000 in 2011 alone. SAFE WEB has enabled the FTC to pursue some of the most egregious cases, including over 100 investigations with international components such as foreign targets, evidence or assets.


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