Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (02/26/1998)

Wireless Telephone Protection Act - Amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit knowingly using, producing, trafficking in, having control or custody of, or possessing hardware or software knowing that it has been configured to insert or modify telecommunication identifying information associated with or contained in a telecommunications instrument so that such instrument may be used to obtain telecommunications service without authorization. Revises penalties to: (1) impose a fine and a 15-year term of imprisonment for such a violation as a first offense; and (2) require forfeiture to the United States of any personal property used or intended to be used to commit fraud in connection with an access device. Revises the definition of a "scanning receiver" for purposes of such provisions to include a device or apparatus that can be used to intercept an electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or other identifier of any telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument.

Permits an officer, employee, or agent of, or a person engaged in business with, a facilities-based carrier to engage in conduct (other than trafficking) otherwise prohibited for the purpose of protecting that carrier's property or legal rights, unless such conduct is for the purpose of obtaining telecommunications service provided by another facilities-based carrier without such carrier's authorization. Makes it an affirmative defense that the conduct charged (other than a violation consisting of producing or trafficking) was engaged in for research or development in connection with a lawful purpose.

Directs the United States Sentencing Commission to review and amend the Federal sentencing guidelines and the policy statements of the Commission, if appropriate, to provide an appropriate penalty for offenses involving the cloning of wireless telephones, including offenses involving an attempt or conspiracy to do so.