Senate Criminalizes Pretexting

The Senate this weekend passed a bill that criminalizes pretexting, or the act of fraudulently obtaining consumers private phone records.

The push to make pretexting illegal stemmed from the HP scandal earlier this year, when the company used private detectives to get phone records of journalists, managers and directors.

The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006 also prohibits the unauthorized sale or transfer of confidential phone records information, or the receipt of such information with the knowledge that it was fraudulently obtained.

Congress has taken an important step to protect our nations consumers from unscrupulous companies who sell private telephone records to anyone willing to pay for them, said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who co-sponsored the bill. This bill will make it a crime to buy and sell Americans private phone records.

Congress has adjourned until Jan. 4.

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