Governor Nathan Deal signs hands-free driving bill into law

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed 21 legislative proposals in what is likely his final set of vetoes as Georgia governor.

Among the bills vetoed were proposals to cap fees a homeowners' association could charge homeowners for information and that aimed to make contracts between local governments and private consultants more transparent.

Deal also vetoed a bill designed to give law enforcement the ability to prosecute hackers who probe computer systems for vulnerabilities but don't disrupt or steal data. The bill was criticized by the cybersecurity industry.

Deal signed into law a measure that would allow victims of domestic abuse who have received a court order to break a residential lease without penalty.

Deal on Monday signed into law a bill that allows lottery winners with prizes over $250,000 to remain anonymous upon request.

He also vetoed a bill criminalizing unauthorized computer access after receiving blowback from the state's booming cybersecurity industry.

The bill passed in March amid the final chaotic hours of the legislative session. It would have made it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail to intentionally access a computer or network without authorization.

It was designed to give law enforcement the ability to prosecute "online snoopers" - hackers who probe computer systems for vulnerabilities but don't disrupt or steal data.

But critics, including Google and Microsoft, urged Deal to veto the bill. They said the bill would have created new criminal liabilities for researchers who disclose weaknesses to improve cybersecurity.

Deal said the legislation could have inadvertently hindered organizations from protecting themselves against hacks.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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