US Lawmakers Target Pre-paid Cellphones

Thursday, 27 May 2010 08:08 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON – US lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday to enable law enforcement to identify users of pre-paid cell phones, charging that anonymity makes the devices attractive to terrorists, drug kingpins and gangs.

The legislation would require buyers of pre-paid cell phones to show identification when they purchase them and mandate that telephone companies keep the information on file as they do with subscription cell phones.

"This proposal is overdue because for years terrorists, drug kingpins and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace," said Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.

Schumer noted that the alleged Times Square bomb plotter, Faisal Shahzad, had used a pre-paid cell phone that can often be "a dead end for law enforcement."

"While most Americans use pre-paid mobile devices lawfully, the anonymous nature of these devices gives too much cover to individuals looking to use them for deviant, dangerous means," said Republican Senator John Cornyn.

Pre-paid cell phones can typically be bought with cash and activated without signing a contract or facing a credit check.

The senators said Shahzad used a pre-paid cell phone to arrange the purchase of the vehicle he allegedly hoped to use as a car bomb, and that US authorities tracked him down only because a number listed in the phone's call log matched one Shahzad provided to authorities upon entering the United States months earlier.

"But for that stroke of luck, authorities might never have been able to match the phone number provided by the seller of the Pathfinder to Shahzad," they said in a joint statement.

Countries including Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand already require registration of pre-paid cell phone users, the senators said.

And at least six US states have been mulling similar rules, they said.

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

China Launches Experimental Moon Orbiter

Friday, 24 Oct 2014 06:41 AM

China launched an experimental spacecraft on Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the coun . . .

Australian Doctors Transplant 'dead' Hearts in Surgical Breakthrough

Friday, 24 Oct 2014 06:40 AM

Australian surgeons said Friday they have used hearts which had stopped beating in successful transplants, in what they  . . .

Former Rep. Walker: Climate Change More Politics Than Science

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 15:42 PM

The issue of man-made climate change has become more of a political matter than a scientific one, former Pennsylvania Re . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved