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A close look at how the top consumer protection agency is examining privacy in a new way. A mafia organization dabbled in cybercrime, police say. And questions about cybersecurity costs on Capitol Hill. This is CyberScoop for September 20, 2021.

A new moment for the FTC?

Congress and agency leadership seem eager to beef up the Federal Trade Commission's privacy enforcement powers. But in order for the agency to fully take on emerging issues like discriminatory data practices and facial recognition technology, the agency is going to need a lot more than just money, experts say. The quickest path forward? A federal privacy law. “I don’t think privacy will be taken seriously at a larger scale unless people actually feel like enforcement is coming,” says Whitney Merrill, a former FTC attorney. “I think a lot of people think they can get away with a lot. If we want to get on the right path, we need clear rules and clear guidance and [the FTC has] to enforce.” Tonya Riley explores.

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Investigators say accused scammers are tied to Italian mafia

Police in Europe have arrested more than 100 people who allegedly stole more than $11 million in a years-long fraud operation that law enforcement officials have linked to an Italian mafia group. Officials in Italy and Spain arrested 106 suspects who are accused of using phishing, credit card fraud and other cybercrime techniques in conjunction with drug trafficking and property crime, according to the European law enforcement agency Europol. Police said that “most” of the suspects had ties to Italian organized crime groups named Camorra, a known drug syndicate operating through Europe, and Sacra Corona Unita, another criminal organization that specializes in money laundering and extortion. Jeff Stone has the news.

NDAA amendment seeks clarity over cost of cybersecurity regime

A new amendment to the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act would require the Department of Defense to give Congress an estimate of how much new cybersecurity regulations are expected to cost small businesses. If enacted, it could further increase scrutiny of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which is already under review by the Department of Defense and the Government Accountability Office. The amendment was offered by chairman of the small business Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations Subcommittee, Rep. Dean Phillips, D-MN. Jackson Barnett looks closer at FedScoop.

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