Jun 8, 2010 9:55 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Terrorism prompts call for crack down on prepaid cells

Two lawmakers say it's time for prepaid cell phone users to identify themselves. New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn have introduced legislation requiring consumers to produce identification before buying such phones.

That's rattled some civil liberties groups, who say the bill may threaten privacy rights.

Prepaid phones can be a lifeline for people with limited incomes or poor credit. But since they can be purchased anonymously, they're a favored tool of drug dealers and other criminals looking to cover their tracks.

Prepaid phones also have been linked to suspected terror activity. Authorities say accused Times Square bomb plotter Faisal Shahzad  used one to purchase a car in which to hide the bomb.


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