Congress continues to discuss a bill titled: The Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008. As originally posted by Mike Berkens at thedomains.com, Senate Members have proposed a internet law bill to eliminate the practice of phishing e-mails and websites.
Yesterday Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) with support of Senator, Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and Senator, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), introduced, a bill entitled “The Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008″ The stated purpose of the internet law bill is to stop the practice of phishing e-mails and websites. A Phishing is a scam whereby people receive e-mails or instant messages directing them to go to websites which are usually set up to look identical to the site that the internet user has an account with, and then tries to get the user to enter personal information into the fake website, such as their login info, user id and password. The scammers then use this information to access the internet user’s actual account and scam them out of their money. There is a serious and substantial phishing problem going on. I personally receive these types of e-mail many times each day both from banks and institutions I do business with, and many I do not.
The bill contains substantial civil, and potential criminal penalties, not only for owners of domains used in phishing scam, but includes ANY domain name, which contains or uses a brand name, trademarked name, or names of a government entity, agency, non-profit agency or any business or other entity.They are basically taking domain disputes out of the hand of the arbitrators, mediators and the courts and handing it over directly to the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney Generals of each state for civil enforcement. The internet law bill allows the government to get injunctive relief, without showing anything but the domain name itself. No intent or other issues seem to be required other than the domain name for an injunction.The bill also gives the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General’s office the right to seek up to 6 million dollars for each violation, plus all internet attorney fees of the government