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Goodlatte Introduces Legislation to Protect Privacy of Phone Records

Location: Washington, DC



Washington, DC: Congressman Bob Goodlatte today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect the privacy of your phone records. The Law Enforcement and Phone Privacy Protection Act of 2006 provides explicit protection for the privacy of confidential telephone records, including call logs, and establishes specific criminal penalties for the fraudulent acquisition or disclosure of such records without the consent of the consumer.

"Telephone records are widely available to any person who is willing to pay a small fee," said Rep. Goodlatte. "A simple Internet search returns numerous websites that offer to obtain call histories. This information can be extremely revealing and it should not be available for unauthorized sale on the Internet."

The primary method data brokers use to obtain this information is known as "pretexting". This involves a data broker with some key information, such as a cell phone number and possibly a social security number, pretending to be the subscriber to get information about an account. The Law Enforcement and Phone Privacy Protection Act would put a stop to this by imposing criminal penalties for "pretexting," as well as other methods of seeking to obtain such records through the use of fraud.

Additionally, the Law Enforcement and Phone Privacy Protection Act will provide punishment for those who illegally obtain or sell phone records knowing they will be used in a criminal act. This is extremely important for the protection of law enforcement officers and victims of domestic violence.

"Your phone records are not public information and it is time they cease to be treated that way," continued Rep. Goodlatte. "By targeting both unauthorized vendors and those who seek unauthorized access to phone records, my legislation will provide prosecutors with a needed deterrent and ensure that violators receive an appropriate punishment. This legislation is urgently needed to preserve consumers' privacy rights and to protect the personal safety of law enforcement personnel."

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