In a new political development in Wisconsin, two Republican legislators are proposing a bill to criminalize prank calls that fraudulently conceal the caller’s identity. However, they say this is not motivated by Gov. Scott Walker’s recent call with a blogger posing as Republican billionaire David Koch.
The bill is sponsored by GOP state Sen. Mary Lazich and state Rep. Mark Honadel. According to the Badger Herald, one of the two student-run papers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the sponsors deny that it is connected to Walker’s recent call — Honadel’s spokesman said that they introduced it at the end of the last session, but ran out of time get it through, and are just re-introducing it now.
TPMDC has confirmed on Wisconsin’s legislative site that the bill was introduced in the previous session.
From the Herald’s report:
The bill would make it illegal to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain any information of value from using a caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information. It would also prohibit individuals from masking their voices or providing a fake phone number to the call recipient, said Jason Vick, spokesperson for Honadel.
A district attorney would enforce the prohibition on call spoofing. A person in violation of the law would be subject to a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000 for each call made, according to the bill.
However, law enforcement and government regulatory agents who use phone spoofing to fight crime would be exempt from the law.
As readers might recall, Walker discussed during his phone call last week with “David Koch” such topics as efforts to trick the state Senate Democrats into returning to Wisconsin, brief considerations about planting fake protesters to start trouble, and his passion for busting the public employee unions in the mold of Ronald Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers.