senate Bill S2909B

Provides that a business entity may not alter caller identification information with the intent to defraud or harass a third party or the recipient of the call

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 03 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 20 / Apr / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 20 / Apr / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 2909A
  • 06 / May / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 06 / May / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 2909B
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 18 / Jan / 2012
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE

Summary

Provides that a business entity may not provide false caller identification with the intent to defraud or harass any party; provides definition of business entity.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A52A
Versions:
S2909
S2909A
S2909B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add §399-ppp, Gen Bus L; amd §8303, CPLR
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S7713, A4360, A9390B

Votes

10
0
10
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Consumer Protection committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2909B

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law and the civil practice law and rules,
in relation to prohibiting
business entities from transmitting false
caller identification
information with the intent to defraud or
harass
any person

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
This legislation would ban "spoofing" within the state. spoofing is
the transmission of false caller identification information with the
intent to defraud or harass any person.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of this bill amends the general business law by adding a
new section 399-ppp, which would prohibit any business entity from
causing a caller identification service to transmit false information
when there is an intent to defraud or harass when making a phone call
so anyone within the state. The attorney general shall submit
application to the court or justice who shall have the jurisdiction
to serve notice upon the person in violation of this section and to
immediately enjoin and restrain these violations. If the court or
justice finds upon a preponderance of the evidence that this section
has been violated, the court or justice may immediately enjoin and
restrain any further violation without any proof of harm to the other
party.
The court also may, in its discretion, direct restitution or impose a
civil penalty which shall not exceed $2,000 for each call that
violates this section, or $100,000 in the aggregate. Additionally,
any person whose caller identification information has been used in
connection with a violation, or any individual who has received a
phone call in violation of this section may bring an action to enjoin
and to recover actual damages and/or up to $500 per call or $25,000
in the aggregate for all calls placed within a 72 hour period as well
as reasonable attorney's fees to a prevailing plaintiff within the
court's discretion. This section does not apply to members of law
enforcement acting within the scope of their duties, or to a court
order issuing called identification manipulation.

Section two amends paragraph 6 of subdivision (a) of section 8303 of
the civil practice law and rules, as amended by chapter 530 of the
laws of 2002, by adding an action brought by the attorney general
under section 399-ppp to the list of proceedings subject to
allowances that may be paid to the attorney general. The sum of such
allowance shall not exceed $2,000 against each defendant.

Section three is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Spoofing occurs when a person intentionally alters caller
identification information to mask the true identity of the caller.
The minimum effect is that the end user is deceived - the person


making the call is not the person identified on the screen -and the
person identified on the screen
is "spoofed." This means that the person being spoofed has had caller
identification information - his identity, in essence - intentionally
misappropriated by the caller to achieve an end. In the case of a
telemarketing firm doing the spoofing, the intent may be to get the
end user to pick up the phone, because the call seems to be a
personal call rather than a call from a telemarketer.

No matter what the facts are, the essence of the conduct is that a
person's caller identification information is stolen and then used so
that end users are deceived or harassed. The person who was spoofed
may suffer the following damages: a significant invasion of his or
her privacy; damage to his or her reputation, depending on the
content of the message attached to his caller identification
information; the publishing of a previously unpublished phone number;
being associated with a telephone effort that is viewed as one that
harasses people; and becoming the recipient of angry phone calls at
any hour of the day from people who have received calls that
seemingly were placed by the person being spoofed, but were actually
placed by someone else.

This legislation seeks to end this indefensible practice by making
spoofing within New York State a violation of the general business
law, and authorizing the attorney general and private parties to seek
both injunctive and monetary relief.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None Noted.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act will take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2909--B

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 3, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Consumer  Protection  --
  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
  recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged,  bill  amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT to amend the general business law and the civil practice law and
  rules, in relation to prohibiting business entities from  transmitting
  false  caller identification information with the intent to defraud or
  harass any person

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
399-ppp to read as follows:
  S 399-PPP. PROHIBITION ON PROVISION OF DECEPTIVE CALLER IDENTIFICATION
INFORMATION.  1.  IT  SHALL  BE  UNLAWFUL  FOR  ANY  BUSINESS ENTITY, IN
CONNECTION WITH ANY TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE OR VOIP SERVICE, TO CAUSE
ANY CALLER IDENTIFICATION SERVICE TO TRANSMIT FALSE  CALLER  IDENTIFICA-
TION  INFORMATION,  WITH  THE INTENT TO DEFRAUD OR HARASS, WHEN MAKING A
CALL TO ANY PERSON WITHIN THE STATE.
  2. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
  (A) "BUSINESS ENTITY" MEANS A CORPORATION,  ASSOCIATION,  PARTNERSHIP,
LIMITED  LIABILITY COMPANY, LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP OR OTHER LEGAL
ENTITY.
  (B) "CALLER IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION" MEANS INFORMATION PROVIDED  TO
AN  END  USER BY A CALLER IDENTIFICATION SERVICE REGARDING THE TELEPHONE
NUMBER OF, OR OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE  ORIGINATION  OF,  A  CALL
MADE USING A TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE OR VOIP SERVICE.
  (C)  "CALLER  IDENTIFICATION  SERVICE"  MEANS  ANY  SERVICE  OR DEVICE
DESIGNED TO PROVIDE THE USER OF THE SERVICE OR DEVICE WITH THE TELEPHONE
NUMBER OF, OR OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE  ORIGINATION  OF,  A  CALL

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00755-09-1

S. 2909--B                          2

MADE  USING  A  TELECOMMUNICATIONS  SERVICE  OR  VOIP SERVICE. SUCH TERM
INCLUDES AUTOMATIC NUMBER IDENTIFICATION SERVICES.
  (D) "VOIP SERVICE" MEANS A SERVICE THAT:
  (I)  PROVIDES  REAL-TIME  VOICE COMMUNICATIONS TRANSMITTED THROUGH END
USER EQUIPMENT USING TCP/IP PROTOCOL, OR A SUCCESSOR PROTOCOL, FOR A FEE
OR WITHOUT A FEE; AND
  (II) IS OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC, OR SUCH  CLASSES  OF  USERS  AS  TO  BE
EFFECTIVELY  AVAILABLE  TO  THE  PUBLIC  (WHETHER  PART  OF  A BUNDLE OF
SERVICES OR SEPARATELY); AND
  (III) HAS THE CAPABILITY TO ORIGINATE TRAFFIC TO, OR TERMINATE TRAFFIC
FROM, THE PUBLIC SWITCHED TELEPHONE NETWORK.
  3. WHENEVER THERE SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION, AN APPLICATION
MAY BE MADE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF  THE  PEOPLE  OF  THE
STATE  OF NEW YORK TO A COURT OR JUSTICE HAVING JURISDICTION TO ISSUE AN
INJUNCTION, AND UPON NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT, TO IMMEDIATELY ENJOIN  AND
RESTRAIN  THE  CONTINUANCE OF SUCH VIOLATIONS; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO
THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE,  BY  A  PREPONDERANCE  OF  THE
EVIDENCE,  THAT  THE  DEFENDANT  HAS,  IN FACT, VIOLATED THIS SECTION AN
INJUNCTION MAY  BE  ISSUED  BY  SUCH  COURT  OR  JUSTICE  ENJOINING  AND
RESTRAINING  ANY  FURTHER  VIOLATION,  WITHOUT  REQUIRING PROOF THAT ANY
PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED THEREBY. THE COURT MAY MAKE
ALLOWANCES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL  AS  PROVIDED  IN  PARAGRAPH  SIX  OF
SUBDIVISION (A) OF SECTION EIGHTY-THREE HUNDRED THREE OF THE CIVIL PRAC-
TICE  LAW  AND  RULES. IN ADDITION TO ANY SUCH ALLOWANCES, THE COURT MAY
DIRECT RESTITUTION TO ANY VICTIM UPON A SHOWING OF DAMAGES BY A  PREPON-
DERANCE  OF THE EVIDENCE.  IN ADDITION TO ANY SUCH RESTITUTION, WHENEVER
THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED,
THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY  OF  NOT  MORE  THAN  TWO  THOUSAND
DOLLARS  PER  CALL,  UP TO A TOTAL AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF NOT MORE THAN ONE
HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, FOR ALL CALLS  PLACED  IN  VIOLATION  OF  THIS
SECTION  WITHIN A CONTINUOUS SEVENTY-TWO HOUR PERIOD. IN CONNECTION WITH
ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE ATTORNEY  GENERAL  IS  AUTHORIZED  TO
TAKE  PROOF  AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE
SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES.
  4. IN ADDITION TO THE RIGHT OF ACTION GRANTED TO THE ATTORNEY  GENERAL
PURSUANT  TO THIS SECTION, ANY PERSON WHOSE CALLER IDENTIFICATION INFOR-
MATION WAS USED IN CONNECTION WITH A VIOLATION OF THIS  SECTION  OR  WHO
HAS  RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION MAY BRING AN
ACTION IN HIS OR HER OWN NAME TO ENJOIN SUCH UNLAWFUL ACT  OR  PRACTICE,
AN  ACTION  TO  RECOVER THE GREATER OF (A) HIS OR HER ACTUAL DAMAGES, OR
(B) AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO NOT MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER  CALL,  UP
TO  A  TOTAL  AGGREGATE  AMOUNT  OF  NOT  MORE THAN TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND
DOLLARS FOR ALL CALLS PLACED IN  VIOLATION  OF  THIS  SECTION  WITHIN  A
CONTINUOUS SEVENTY-TWO HOUR PERIOD; OR BOTH SUCH ACTIONS.  THE COURT MAY
AWARD REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES TO A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF.
  5.  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY MEMBER OF A
LAW ENFORCEMENT UNIT ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE  OF  HIS  OR  HER  ASSIGNED
DUTIES OR TO A COURT ORDER THAT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES THE USE OF CALL-
ER IDENTIFICATION MANIPULATION.
  S 2. Paragraph 6 of subdivision (a) of section 8303 of the civil prac-
tice  law  and  rules, as amended by chapter 530 of the laws of 2002, is
amended to read as follows:
  6. to the plaintiffs in an action or proceeding brought by the [attor-
ney-general] ATTORNEY GENERAL under [articles] ARTICLE twenty-two, twen-
ty-two-A, twenty-three-A or thirty-three or section three hundred  nine-
ty-one-b, THREE HUNDRED NINETY-NINE-PPP, or five hundred twenty-a of the

S. 2909--B                          3

general business law, or under subdivision twelve of section sixty-three
of  the  executive  law,  or  under article twenty-three of the arts and
cultural affairs law, or in an  action  or  proceeding  brought  by  the
[attorney-general]   ATTORNEY   GENERAL  under  applicable  statutes  to
dissolve a corporation or for usurpation of public office,  or  unlawful
exercise  of  franchise  or  of corporate right, a sum not exceeding two
thousand dollars against each defendant.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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