Dem announces new cyberstalking bill at SXSW

Dem announces new cyberstalking bill at SXSW
© Thinkstock

Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkMassachusetts Democrats call for 100 percent fentanyl screening of international mail from 'high-risk' nations Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries MORE (D-Mass.) is pushing forward a new plan to help law enforcement crack down on online stalkers and harassers.


At the South By Southwest Interactive festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, she announced plans to introduce legislation establishing a $20 million grant for state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cybercrimes that disproportionately target vulnerable groups, BuzzFeed News reported.

“We hope to raise awareness and develop local expertise for law enforcement so we are able to prosecute more of these cases,” she reportedly told the news outlet.

Last month, Clark was the target of a so-called swatting hoax, which is when an anonymous person calls in an emergency situation to law enforcement in the hope of having a SWAT team show up to a target’s home.  

Multiple police officers with “long guns” reportedly showed up at her family’s home after receiving an anonymous report of an active shooter.

“No mother should have to answer the door to the police in the middle of the night and fear for her family’s safety simply because an anonymous person disagrees with her,” she said in statement following the incident.

Clark has pushed Congress to pass legislation that imposes stricter penalties for swatting, including fines and prison sentences up to five years.