What Congress isn't doing to stop pretexting

Ten anti-pretexting bills are stalled in Congress. Here's a guide to what hasn't been done.

Over the past year, a flurry of bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress that targeted pretexting. But each of the 10 bills identified here remains stuck somewhere in the legislative process. Not one has been sent to President Bush for his signature.

S2177 Using or selling confidential phone records would be a crime. Law-enforcement pretexting is largely exempt.
Introduced: January 2006
Status: In committee

S2178 Pretexting would be a crime unless done by police or government contractors. Covers voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls.
Introduced: January 2006
Status: Approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee; waiting for a Senate floor vote.

S2389 Pretexting for phone records would be punishable by fines. Law-enforcement pretexting is largely exempt. Individuals can sue for damages.
Introduced: March 2006
Status: Approved by Senate Commerce Committee; waiting for a Senate floor vote.

HR3997 Prohibits pretexting of any kind by "information brokers." Part of broader legislation dealing with security breaches.
Introduced: October 2005
Status: Approved by House Energy and Commerce Committee; waiting for floor vote.

HR4127 Pretexting of any sort would be illegal, including pretexting to obtain telephone records. Part of a massive bill on data security.
Introduced: October 2005
Status: Approved by three House committees; waiting for a House floor vote.

HR4657 Selling someone's confidential phone records would be a federal crime, even if a private investigator is selling records to police.
Introduced: January 2006
Status: In committee

HR4662 Obtaining or attempting to obtain phone records would be a crime. Not applicable to law enforcement or government contractors.
Introduced: January 2006
Status: In committee

HR4678 Pretexting to obtain telephone records would be illegal, including if it's done on behalf of law enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission could file civil lawsuits.
Introduced: January 2006
Status: In committee

HR4709 Pretexting would be a crime unless done by police or government contractors. Covers voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls.
Introduced: February 2006
Status: Approved by House; in Senate committee.

HR4714 Using confidential phone records would be a crime. Law-enforcement pretexting is largely exempted.
Introduced: February 2006
Status: In committee

HR4943 Pretexting to obtain telephone records would be illegal. The Federal Trade Commission could file civil lawsuits.
Introduced: March 2006
Status: Approved by House Commerce Committee; waiting for House floor vote.

 

Discuss What Congress isn't doing to stop pretexting

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Articles from CNET
Take a self-guided virtual tour of the International Space Station