Stupid Laws, Phishing's for Kids!

One of my beefs with the US’s whole system is the stupid laws that get inacted by well meaning folks. One of my favorite is the ‘no talking on cell phones while driving’ law. We don’t need another law about that! There is already one on the books. It’s illegal to drive while you are distracted. So, if you are chattering on your cell phone, and swerving all over the place – that pretty much looks like distracted driving, right?

Well, California has done it again. It’s now illegal to ‘Phish‘. Phishing is the art of stealing folk’s bank account access numbers and passwords, and then robbing them blind. So, stealing was not already illegal in California? Or is this just another stupid law about something that is already covered?

8 thoughts on “Stupid Laws, Phishing's for Kids!”

  1. I was more speaking in generalities then specifics. When there is already a good law on the books, why write another one? It just confuses the issue.

  2. You didn’t provide a link to anything about this actual legislation. It occurs to me though that it has always been illegal to rob someones bank account, this new law might have a purpose in making the collection of this information illegal, regardless of whether their is proof that the information was used to rob anyone.

    That would theoretically allow prosecutors to move much faster on a case such as this and prevent the actual stealing from people.

  3. Sheila just pointed out that the majority of lawmakers are lawyers. They want to have this tangled morass – it assures them a high paying job.

    (In general – specific lawyers might feel differently)

  4. The worst case of ‘multilawness’ that I have heard about is NYC – who has 16 laws that cover driving while talking on a cell phone.

    I guess my issue is that it would be a lot easier to simply modify the existing statute to include a phishing addendum. It would also go a long way towards making the laws more understandable by the common man. Right now, most folks know the basics (be bad, go to jail) but if presented with specifics would not have any idea. This is because of the ‘narrowing’ creating a tangled morass of laws that take a specialized college degree to understand.

    However, I have no illusions that this will ever happen – it would take lawmakers to grok the existing laws before bowing to political pressure and creating a narrowly targeted law which panders to a few voters.

  5. Okay, here goes…(shortest version possible):

    As criminals come up with new ways of fucking the rest of us, old laws don’t "fit" the right way. Sure, "Phishing" could have fallen under "Theft," but perhaps CA wanted better sentencing guidelines for this particular crime, so they codified it and narrowed it down. "Phishing" might get you more points on your Criminal History and get you more time if you’re caught.

    In WA we’ve always had "Assault" and "Theft," and a lot of Elder Abuse might fall under that, but to better prosecute the bastards who take advantage of the elderly in this state, WA narrowed it down and altered some existing statutes to better reflect the heinousness of the particular crime of ripping off/assaulting the elderly.

    Okay, that was the short version. :)

  6. Tsykoduk, do you want an informed answer? I can understand if you just want to rant, but I can actually inject something worthwhile if you and your readers would like it…

    …about "Stupid Laws" I mean. :)

  7. My first experience with government waste was as a DC intern watching a congressional hearing. My prevailing thought was, "Hm. So I’m paying these guys tax dollars to read the paper, talk on a cell phone, talk to an aid, and sleep–yes, SLEEP– during a subcommittee hearing??"

    Naievete at it’s best, right?

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