Shimkus supports anti-spoofing legislation

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) announced on Friday that he cosponsored legislation that would help prevent inaccurate information from appearing on caller identification screens.

“Spoofing” occurs when a caller tries to trick a call recipient by presenting false caller ID information. The Anti-Spoofing Act, which was introduced in December by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), aims to address spoofing calls made internationally.

“Current law bans the practice of spoofing from calls originating in the United States,” Shimkus, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said. “This legislation that I am cosponsoring would expand the ban on spoofing to calls originating outside the U.S. if the recipient is within the U.S.”

The measure would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to expand a provision that makes it illegal to cause a caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate information.

“Anti-spoofing definitions would also be expanded to include text messages and IP voice services,” Shimkus said.

Under the measure, the FCC would be directed to provide oversight and regulate service providers who allow caller identification to be altered.

“You should be able to rely on caller ID information to be accurate,” Shimkus said. “When it’s not, you may inadvertently provide personal information to identity thieves or other criminals pretending to represent someone they are not.”

The measure is pending in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.