Who is Spamming Nebraska Lawmakers on Bill 389?

Many state Senators received bogus emails supporting Legislative Bill 389, in favor of 5G and causing confusion among recipients and supposed senders, reported Omaha.com.  Although uncommon, these types of issues have occurred previously at the federal level, including an incident in Texas and one where Americans’ identities were stolen to make at least two million comments on the FCC’s website about net neutrality.

According to Bill Mahoney, assistant professor in the cybersecurity degree program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, sending an email that appears to be from another person’s account is not as hard as one might think.

The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Curt Friesen and stalled during a filibuster, would have set statewide regulations and established fees for companies to install small cells on new and existing structures in public spaces. Major carriers like A&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile lobbied hard for the bill, reported Omaha.com.  

Although no laws are currently in place to protect against using email without the express knowledge of the account owner, Gavin Geis, executive director of government watchdog group Common Cause Nebraska, suggested the Legislature come together and establish a system to protect people against their names and email addresses being used to influence lawmakers without their knowledge.

April 17, 2018

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