Science and Technology Law

There Ought to be a Law Against Spoofing, Fla. Legislators Say

Think that phone number you’re seeing on caller ID has to be the real thing? Think again.

So-called spoofers can easily substitute a legitimate personal or business number in place of the one they’re really calling from, in order to trick those receiving their calls for a wide variety of questionable and illegal purposes. Similarly, an individual’s e-mail address can also be swiped by spoofers sending out their own messages under someone else’s persona.

But in Florida there’s no law against such identity theft, so the legislature is thinking about enacting one, reports the Miami Herald. Promoted by Sen. Dave Aronberg (D-Greenacres) and Rep. Martin Kiar (D-Davie), it would make the use of spoofing software, for the purpose of deceiving or defrauding, a misdemeanor.

”It’s so common it’s in Wikipedia, but there’s no law against it,” says Aronberg, referring to the definitions of spoofing offered by the free online encyclopedia created by volunteer users. “Our laws have not kept up with the fast pace of technology. We are fighting new crimes with yesteryear’s laws.”

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