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 May 5th, 2008  
Legislature unanimously adopts law authored by St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office outlawing false information in Caller ID known as “spoofing,” Sheriff Mascara announces
 
A new state law sought by St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara and authored by Sheriff’s General Counsel Adam Fetterman has won unanimous approval from both houses of the Florida Legislature to outlaw the use of phony Caller ID information.

Using fake Caller ID information is called “spoofing” because the caller misrepresents his or her true identity, substituting a fake (or “spoofed”) identity.

“The ‘anti-spoofing’ law is awaiting Gov. Charlie Crist’s signature, and I’m confident he will give law enforcement this additional tool to fight identity theft, fraud and other crimes,” Sheriff Mascara said. “I saw the need for these added protections for innocent Floridians, and I’m grateful to all the members of both houses of the Florida Legislature for their unanimous adoption of this law.”

Adam Fetterman, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office General Counsel drafted the law.

“When this law goes into effect Oct. 1, it will protect Floridians from people using Caller ID to masquerade as someone’s financial institution, government authority or to circumvent a domestic violence order,” Fetterman said. “Currently, criminals can use the Internet to hide their identities through Caller ID by routing phone calls through certain web sites. The people of Florida deserve strong protection from so-called ‘spoofing’ which misuses Caller ID.”

Fetterman moved the bill through the legislature on behalf of Sheriff Mascara, with State Sen. David Aronberg (D-Greenacres) and State Rep. Martin Kiar (D-Davie) as the bill’s sponsors.

Cosponsors were: State Rep. William Snyder (R-Stuart), Rep. Ari Porth (D-Coral Springs), Rep. Mary Brandenburg (D-West Palm Beach) and Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach.)

Every Senate and House committee that handled the legislation adopted it unanimously, and both the state Senate and House adopted the bill unanimously. The House vote was 117-0. The Senate vote was 38-0.

The new law would make it illegal to use “spoofing” technology with the intent to “deceive, defraud or mislead.” Each violation will be a first-degree misdemeanor, Fetterman said.

“Also, if someone uses ‘spoofing’ technology while committing another crime, such as fraud or theft, a judge can enhance the defendant’s prison sentence after conviction based on the anti-spoofing law,” Fetterman said.

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