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President Bush Approves Federal Law Against Telephone Pretexting


18/01/2007

U.S. president George W. Bush has signed the long-anticipated Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006, which makes it a criminal act to fraudulently obtain confidential telephone records.

The measure allows for up to 10 years in prison for anyone who engages in pretexting — that is impersonating a customer or employee in an attempt to obtain confidential call records from a telephone company or wireless carrier.

Sales of fraudulently obtained phone records flourished because the possibility of criminal prosecution was remote, according to the pretexting bill’s original sponsor, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who sites in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Before this bill, federal law already banned the practice of fraudulently obtaining financial information, and some states such as California had already taken a strong stand against the theft and sale of call records. The legislation signed this week, however, is the first to target telephone pretexting at a federal level.



 

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