The RDV Group InfoSec Blog

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

House Passes Bill To Protect Phone Numbers

In the "this is really needed and I'm surprised they're actually doing something about it" department, the National Journal describes a new House bill to restrict those web sites that buy and sell personal phone information: "... The House yesterday passed a bill designed to protect the privacy of telephone numbers. The measure, H.R. 4709, would make it illegal for online brokers to buy and sell individuals' monthly phone records. It would empower both the FCC and FTC to enforce new rules banning 'pretexting,' the practice of obtaining customers' personal information under false pretenses."

An interesting feature about the history of this bill is that the legislation that was introduced early this year after publicity generated by a blogger, John Aravosis of Americablog: " ... After he read an article about the issue, he decided to make cell-phone privacy a pet cause. Aravosis first bought his own records to prove a point, then he bought the records of someone who mattered: 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark . That ploy generated lots of publicity and jumpstarted the issue in Congress."

Here's a tip of the hat to the on-going, often losing. battle for personal privacy. And a great reminder of the power of the Internet!


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