-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Recently, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was the recipient of an embarrassing prank call from a blogger Ian Murphy posing as Republican billionaire David Koch. Instead of waiting until the incident blew over, two Republican Wisconsin legislators have decided now’s the time to reintroduce legislation that would make the prank call illegal.
Sen. Mary Lazich, R-Waukesha, and Rep. Mark Honadel, R-Milwaukee, are reintroducing a bill that would:
[forbid] a caller from intentionally providing a false phone number and convincing the person receiving the call that it comes from someone other than the actual caller.
According to a spokesman for Honadel,
It would also prohibit individuals from masking their voices or providing a fake phone number to the call recipient.
A violator would be subject to a fine from $1000 to $10,000 per call.
The bill would make it illegal to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain any information of value from using caller ID spoofing. I suspect it’s already illegal to defraud someone in Wisconsin, and causing harm is vague.
The Wisconsin law goes further than the federal law. On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Truth in Caller ID Act, which makes it illegal “to cause any caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, with the intent to defraud or deceive.”
With the advent of caller ID, it’s become harder to accomplish the prank call. Calling cards, which transmit the caller ID of the card company, if used for prank calls, may run the prankster afoul of this law.
Prankster Ian Murphy called Walker’s office using Skype not a spoofing service.