SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Assembly member Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announced that the Assembly has passed her bill to protect New Yorkers from certain unwanted phone calls.
The bill would ban calls made by people who mask their identity with fraudulent caller identification information. The bill aims to prevent businesses from changing their identifying information with the intent of defrauding or harassing the recipient of the call.
“This duplicitous activity represents an unacceptable invasion of privacy,” Paulin said. “It is my sincere hope that this legislation prevents spoofing and provides some relief for those who have been victims of unauthorized caller identification.”
The bill, A496, was passed Monday by the Assembly and sent to the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Consumer Protection Committee. Similar bills have been passed by one chamber every year since 2009 and every year have died in committee in the other chamber.
The legislation would make spoofing – the practice of manipulating telephone networks to display false identification information – a violation of the General Business Law. The attorney general and private parties could seek both injunctive relief and monetary retribution.
“The fraudulent activity claims two victims, state consumers who are being harassed and those individuals whose identities are being stolen and used to deceitful ends,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said. “This legislation takes a necessary step toward blocking this activity and restoring the public’s trust in our telecommunications technology.”