A proposed law sponsored by two senior senators would allow the US to impose sanctions against countries that fail to deal with online crime.
The International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation (ICRC) Act, sponsored by Republican senator Orrin Hatch and democrat senator Kirsten Gillibrand, would require the US government to identify on an annual basis how effective countries are at dealing with online criminals.
The proposed legislation would also allow Congress to impose punitive sanctions against countries deemed to be slacking.
"Cyber crime is a serious threat to the security of the global economy, which is why we need to co-ordinate our fight worldwide," said senator Hatch.
"Until countries begin to take the necessary steps to fight criminals within their borders, cyber crime havens will continue to flourish.
"We don't have the luxury to sit back and do nothing. I believe the Act will not only function as a deterrent to cyber crime, but will prove an essential tool in keeping the internet open for business."
The move has been welcomed by some of the biggest technology companies in the world, including Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Symantec, PayPal, eBay, McAfee and Facebook.
"Microsoft strongly supports the ICRC Act and applauds senators Gillibrand and Hatch for their leadership in this area," said Fred Humphries, managing director of US government affairs at Microsoft.
"This legislation is a great step forward towards accessing the technology capabilities and judicial remedies of foreign countries to combat cyber crime, and provide a safer and more trusted and secure internet."
Security firms put the losses from online crime in the billions worldwide, and the legislation is an attempt not only to force countries to take the problem more seriously, but to foster closer links between national police forces so that information can be shared.
"This bill would enhance global co-operation on cyber security issues while providing the US with new tools to protect its critical infrastructure from cyber threats," said US Chamber of Commerce vice president Bruce Josten.
"At a time when criminal enterprises are increasing their exploitation of the cyber realm to conduct nefarious acts, the ICRC Act would establish tough new ways to prepare for and address these threats."
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