RealNews

Lawmakers Push Penalties for False Web Records

U.S. lawmakers touted a bipartisan bill on Wednesday that would increase jail time and fines for identity thieves, cybersquatters and other online fraudsters who register Web sites under false identities. Reps. Lamar Smith and Howard Berman, who introduced the bill on Tuesday, said it would improve the accuracy of Web-site registration records that investigators use to track down those suspected of breaking the law. “The government must play a greater role in punishing those who conceal their identities online, particularly when they do so in furtherance of a serious federal criminal offense or in violation of a federally protected intellectual-property right,” said Smith, a Texas Republican. Berman, a California Democrat, said domain-name sellers should also be held liable. As many as 10 percent of the Internet’s 30 million domain names may be registered under false identities, according to a study released last year. Full Story

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