Thursday, May 19, 2005

Massachusetts Governor Proposes Notification Law

The headline at the website for Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says:


Almost right.

Romney has proposed a set of laws which would address identity theft including requiring companies to notify their customers if they suspect an unauthorized individual has acquired their personal information through their systems or databases.

The bill would also allows consumers to flag or freeze access to their credit reports from credit-reporting bureaus if they suspect their personal information has been stolen.

Naturally, the bill is framed as addressing terrorism, and Romney has a waging a battle for "homeland security." According to the Governor's office, "a false identity could enable a terrorist to enter the country, board an airplane, obtain weapons or gain access to facilities that are part of our critical infrastructure."

And of course, "Identity theft is a principal means to commit other crimes such as credit card theft and money laundering that facilitate terrorist operations.  Information included in Al Qaeda training manuals detailed the importance to terrorists of obtaining fraudulent identification documents."

To that end, the Governor proposes making ID theft and certain related act felonies, including:

·  Using or conspiring to use personal identifying information about  another person or deceased person with the intent to defraud or commit any crime;

· Possession of a false identification document;

· Providing a false identification document to a police officer;

· Using the seal of a department or agency without authority;

· Concealing material facts to obtain a valid identification card;

· Possession of document-making implements with the intent to use such implements for the production of false documents; and

· Possession of five or more false identification documents, with the intent to use or transfer them unlawfully.


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