The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology has voted to outlaw caller ID spoofing. The measure, S. 704, would make it illegal to “to cause any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information.” Companion legislation sailed through the House earlier this month, giving the measure an excellent chance of becoming law. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) said the legislation was necessary to prevent false information from clogging up the tubes:
“Caller ID provides critical information to those who rely on it. However when this technology is used to deceive people it can endanger personal privacy and safety. This bill will help strengthen the ability of the FCC and states to combat these nefarious practices.”
The legislation would not prevent caller ID blocking, allowing people to stay hidden behind the veil of “private” numbers. Unlike the House version, the Senate measure provides penalties of $10,000 for each violation, though in limited circumstances the penalties could reach $1 million. Both measures allow police officers and those with permission from a court to spoof their caller ID to read Ted Stevens.