Mich. laws target ATM skimmers, crash solicitors

It's now a crime to attach high-tech "skimmer" devices to ATMs in order to record debit-card information, Gov. Rick Snyder's office announced Thursday.
AP Wire
Dec 27, 2013

Snyder signed several bills, including a five-bill package that creates criminal penalties for using a skimmer device. The gadgets record information off ATM cards and capture PIN numbers used to make transactions.

"Skimming" from ATMs is a growing problem, Snyder said, and both majority Republicans and minority Democrats in the Legislature backed the measures.

"These devices are used to steal from others, and we need to crack down on this problem to help protect Michiganders," Snyder said in a statement. "This is a bipartisan package of bills approved unanimously, showing the united commitment to fighting this growing issue."

Snyder also announced he signed a bill targeting solicitation of people involved in vehicle accidents. Under the new law, access to accident reports is prohibited for 30 days if lawyers or others want to offer injured victims their services.

Another new law extends a program that lets repeat drunken-driving offenders get a restricted driver's license by installing a breath alcohol ignition device in their car.

Other bills that received the governor's signature include measures to:

— Establish the state Capitol as a state historic site and creating a commission to ensure the building is maintained. The governor said Thursday the laws give the 135-year-old building the protection it deserves. It's one of fewer than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks. Lawmakers, however, have not yet designated an ongoing funding source for Capitol maintenance projects.

— Let customers bring their own bottles of wine to restaurants with a liquor license and designating a regional economic development district in the Upper Peninsula.

— Create a fund to sell the public on the benefits of hunting. The fund will receive about $1.6 million a year from an already approved $1 surcharge on new base hunting and fishing licenses.

— Prohibit law enforcement officials from helping federal authorities indefinitely detain American citizens without charges. It is a response to the National Defense Act, which Snyder's office said "allows the federal government to detain people for an unlimited time without charges being brought against them."



Former Grandhavenite

It's interesting that they feel the need to specifically outlaw the installation of a 'skimmer'. I find it hard to believe someone wouldn't have been charged with something before if they'd gotten caught. There are all kinds of laws on the books about using a computer or communication lines to commit a crime, not to mention that identity theft and fraud are already illegal. Oh well, I guess this is just one more charge they can tack on and make it even more of a slam dunk case. I'm usually pretty wary of additional laws on the books and increased police powers, but it's probably a good thing in this case if it helps reduce the incidence of identity theft.

As far as bringing your own wine to a restaurant- they should also allow beer and liquor. I've been to restaurants in Chicago that are BYOB and it's awesome to be able to save some money as well as having a better selection. The restaurant lobby will probably fight that tooth and nail since the markup on stuff from the bar is a huge source of profit for them.

Also, I'm proud of the state for not helping the federal authorities detain people indefinitely in blatant violation of the constitution. Usually there are so many authoritarians and drooling sycophants in the legislature that something like that would be opposed, but it looks like they did the right thing here.

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