Chris Carr Attorney General Georgia Chris Carr, Georgia attorney general (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is pushing a bill he says will help improve cybersecurity. Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, has introduced legislation designed to crack down on unauthorized computer access, Carr said in a news release Wednesday.

“Senate Bill 315 is an important security measure that will further protect Georgians from cybercriminals,” Carr said. “As it stands, we are one of only three states in the nation where it is not illegal to access a computer, so long as nothing is disrupted or stolen. This doesn’t make any sense.”

Thompson dropped the bill in the first hours of the 2018 legislative session Monday, Carr said. Co-sponsors include Republican Sens. John Albers of Alpharetta, Bill Cowsert of Athens, Butch Miller of Gainesville, Renee Unterman of Buford and Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga. The bill would create the new crime of unauthorized computer access and make it punishable as a misdemeanor of a “high and aggravated nature.”

“Unlawfully accessing any computer in Georgia should be a crime, and we must fix this loophole,” Carr said. “By adding greater protections and penalties against unauthorized computer access, we believe this bill will help us more effectively fight cybercrime in our state.”