THE MAGAZINE

Privacy

A bill (S. 2389) introduced by Sen. George Allen (R-VA) that would make it illegal to solicit, acquire, or sell another person’s confidential telephone records without that person’s consent has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
A similar provision (S. 2178) has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. S. 2178 would prohibit obtaining confidential phone records by fraud or any other unauthorized means from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled service provider. Under the measure, the sale of such records by anyone would be punishable by up to five years in prison. The penalty doubles for repeat violations within a 12-month period and for violations involving more than $100,000 or more than 50 customers. Law enforcement activities are exempt.

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