Anti-Phishing Bill Introduced Just To Make It Even More Illegal

from the in-case-you-weren't-paying-attention dept

Maybe I missed the note, but I was under the impression that “phishing” (tricking people into filling out their personal info into a site they believe is a financial site like Paypal or their bank, but which is really the scammer’s own site) was already pretty damn illegal. After all, it is tricking someone into revealing their bank account info, which will then most likely be used to steal money from them. However, just for good measure, a new anti-phishing bill has been introduced in the Senate, making sure it’s even more illegal. The argument for doing this is that it’s currently difficult to prosecute those scammers involved with phishing, but it’s not entirely clear why. It seems like setting up a website to defraud people out of their bank account or credit card info should be an open and shut case of fraud.

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Comments on “Anti-Phishing Bill Introduced Just To Make It Even More Illegal”

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Anonymous Coward says:

A Thought about this ...

Maybe I am simplifying this, but it ( the new law ) may be because it is hard to prosecute phishers because the victim willing gave up their information.

With a law in place, judges can prosecute.

Of course, I would have assumed that phishing was illegal by the very nature of it being fraudulent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: A Thought about this ...

I’m not 100% sure about US law, but most European systems consider fraud to be just that: someone using tricks or deceit to manipulate you into giving up your property because you are led to believe you will receive something worthwile in return. If you didn’t give it up willingly, it would be theft instead of fraud.

It seems likely US law is largely the same.

Griffon says:

is it?

I’m not sure that it is illegal to setup a look alike site and ask folks for information. Until they do something with that information they are gaining information under false pretenses but I can’t think of a law that specifically violates. Hopefully this will make it easier to get the scammers without punching to many more wholes in our tattered and bruised privacy protections.

Dave says:

AntiPhishing Bill

Phishing, via fake websites and email, was not specifically illegal prior to this bill. In order to prosecute a Phisher, you had to show actual financial fraud via use of the stolen information, or possession of a large number of credit card numbers, etc. Prosecutions had to be under the somewhat obscure category of “Access Device Fraud” or mail fraud or interstate wire fraud. Your other recourse would be trademark infringement.

With the new bill, Phishing itself is specifically illegal. You don’t have to prove financial losses.

Ashley says:

Anti-phishing law

the actual act of phishing is currently not illegal with exception of the states, such as california, that have recently enacted these statutes. phishing is fradulently obtaining a persons infomation. the actions these phishers take with the information is illegal, such as wire fraud and identity theft, but obtaining the info is perfectly legal, for now.

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