President Obama signed into law on Tuesday a bill that would reauthorize the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to clamp down on Internet fraud and online scammers based abroad.
Outgoing California Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack was the lead co-sponsor of the bill, the U.S. Safe Web Act, which expands the FTC’s powers so it can share information about cross-border online fraud with foreign law enforcement authorities.
The bill was originally passed by Congress in 2006 and was set to expire next year. With the president’s signature, the measure is reauthorized through September 2020.
Bono Mack, who lost her reelection race to Democrat Raul Ruiz in November after serving for 14 years in the House, said the bill was needed to ensure consumers felt protected from online scammers, which would keep the e-commerce market thriving. The California Republican applauded the bill being signed into law, saying it was a boon for consumers.
“This is a win-win. It’s good for American consumers. It’s good for the future of e-commerce. And it’s the right thing to do for our nation and our friends around the world,” Bono Mack said in a statement. “With nearly 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the United States, nearly everyone in America has a stake in making certain that the FTC has the powers it needs to fight online fraud.”