Bono Mack's U.S. Safe Web Act reauthorized

Outgoing Republican Congresswoman says bipartisan effort provides important consumer protections

POSTED: 08:46 AM PST Dec 05, 2012    UPDATED: 09:04 AM PST Dec 05, 2012 
Rep. Mary Bono Mack

Rep. Mary Bono Mack says consumers will have more protections from fraud when using their computers, thanks to the law she authored capping off her Congressional career.

The Republican Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, said the reauthorization of the U.S. Safe Web Act was a major victory.
The law allows the Federal Trade Commission to combat cross-border fraud, spam and spyware.  

Bono Mack's legislation extends the FTC's authority to enforce the law until 2020.  Bono Mack said, "Even though the Internet serves billions of users  worldwide - with e-commerce in the United States topping $200 billion last year for the first time and up nearly 20 percent so far this year - it still remains a work in progress."

Bono Mack said, "In just over 25 years, the Internet has not only changed our lives, it has become 'part' of our lives."  

First approved by Congress in 2006, the U.S. SAFE WEB Act authorizes the FTC to:

· Share information involving cross border fraud with foreign consumer protection agencies;
· Secure and protect confidential information from foreign consumer protection agencies from public disclosure that otherwise would not be shared by many foreign law enforcement agencies;
· Pursue fraud-based legal action by amending the "unfair or deceptive acts or practices" to include acts involving foreign commerce or material misconduct within the United States;
· Seek redress on behalf of foreign consumers victimized by U.S.-based wrong-doers; and finally
· Make criminal referrals for cross-border criminal activity when violations of FTC law also violate U.S. criminal law.

Bono Mack leaves Congress this month after losing a reelection contest against Democrat Raul Ruiz.

She said, "As I prepare to leave Congress after more than 14 terrific years, I remain very optimistic about the future of America".   Admittedly, we face some daunting challenges as a nation in the months and years ahead.  But the true greatness of America is measured by the things that unite us, not divide us.  We are a people bound by enduring ideals and principles, which are embedded in an unshakable belief in truth, justice, opportunity and freedom for all."

"Despite the many challenges we are facing today, I continue to believe that our best years are ahead of us, because ours is a nation which values courage, compassion and character and stands united - and undeterred - as freedom's greatest ally around the world," said Bono Mack.

"It has been my extraordinary honor and great privilege to serve in the United States House of Representatives since 1998, and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished.  So today, looking back on my eight terms in Congress, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes: 'Don't be sad that it's over.  Be happy that it happened.'  As we approach this joyous holiday season, I have much to be thankful for and happy about.  This truly has been an experience of a lifetime."