Is Your Refrigerator Running? Wisconsin Legislature Attempts to Make Prank Calls Illegal

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Can you say “party poopers?”

On the heels of an embarrassing prank call made by Ian Murphy to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker two weeks ago, lawmakers from the state have introduced a bill that would make spoof calls illegal, thereby breaking the hearts of teenager girls and radio hosts across the state.

State Sen.  Mary Lazich and State Rep. Mark Honadel, both Republicans (as is Gov. Walker), drafted the bill, which would prohibit tricking a call recipient into believing that the person on the line is someone they are not.

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The legislation would make it illegal to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain information, as well as use services to transmit inaccurate caller ID, a representative of Rep. Honadel told the Badger Herald. It would also prohibit individuals from masking their voices or providing fake phone numbers to the call recipient.

A person who violates the bill could be subject to a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 for each prank call. Law enforcement officials and government agencies will be exempt, of course.

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The legislators maintain that this bill has nothing to do with the recent prank in which Murphy pretended to be billionaire Republican donor David Koch in an effort to engage Gov. Walker in a conversation about Wisconsin’s labor unions. Instead, the lawmakers said in a statement that, “While use of spoofing is said to have some legitimate uses, it can also be used to frighten, harass and potentially defraud.” No word yet on whether calling schoolgirl crushes, giggling and hanging up will be included. (via The Badger Herald)