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Wireless providers back pretexting ban at House hearing

[JURIST] Lawyers from several of the top US wireless telephone providers testified [recorded video] Friday at a hearing [agenda] before the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee [official website] that they would support legislation to ban pretexting [FTC backgrounder], the practice whereby an individual poses as another customer to obtain his or her personal phone information. Congress has yet to agree on a comprehensive bill to ban the practice, and committee members complained Friday that the rest of Congress had failed to take action on the Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act [HR 4943 text] it passed in March. AP has more.

The same House subcommittee also held [JURIST report] a hearing [agenda] Thursday to address the telephone spying scandal that has plagued Hewlett-Packard (HP) [corporate website], just after the company announced [JURIST report; HP press release] the immediate resignation of its general counsel. HP admitted to the use of pretexting [SEC filing; CNET report] in early September, and at Thursday's hearing committee members denounced [chairman's statement] HP executives for allowing the use of controversial surveillance tactics. Several HP executives invoked their the Fifth Amendment rights to refuse to testify.

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