Thursday, March 02, 2006

Phone spam

While doing some research on Internet privacy concerns, I ran across the following factoid which indicates that sending spam to cell phones and PDA's is arguably not a crime. Not that the spammers care, they have no respect for the law or common decency. But their high priced attorneys are likely to uncover this little fact.

And unfortunately, it will literally take an act of Congress to fix this loophole.

Which is yet another reason why the US needs an executive agency charged with safeguarding privacy and Internet security, IMHO. That way, they could regulate privacy through administrative regulations and work more closely with privacy commissioners abroad.

This will allow government to respond to developing threats more quickly and more effective, since Internet governance is a global issue and cooperation on cybercrime and emerging threats is essential.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox and share the factoid with you now...
Not satisfied with traditional computer-based targets, hackers have devised methods to infiltrate other digital apparatuses. This presents a challenge to law enforcement because the definition of "computer" under state and federal hacking laws is often too narrow to include emergent devices. For example, with regard to the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act's (CFAA) definition of the term "computer"...excludes, however, "a portable hand held calculator or other similar device."

To further complicate matters, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM Act) relies on the CFAA's definition of "protected computer,"...therefore, the act of spamming new digital devices that are not "high speed data processing devices performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions" may be legal under the current statutory framework.

Source: Kevin P. Cronin and Ronald N. Weikers, New Technologies Subject to Cyberattacks (Section 2:14.50), Data Security and Privacy Law: Combatting Cyberthreats 28 (Supplement Fall 2005).

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