U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, is trying to crack down on "burner" phones unregistered pre-paid cellphones often used by terrorists, human traffickers and drug dealers.
Legislation she introduced would require pre-paid cell phone retailers to take down customers' basic information such as their name, address and date of birth and pass it along to the cellphone provider so law enforcement can obtain it with a warrant.
The information would be verified using a credit card, debit card, Social Security number, driver's license number, or some other means.
"The 'burner' phone loophole is an egregious gap in our legal framework that allows actors like the 9/11 hijackers and the Times Square bomber to evade law enforcement while they plot to take innocent lives," Rep. Speier said.
"As we've seen so vividly over the past few days, we cannot afford to take these kinds of risks. It's time to close the 'burner' phone loophole for good," she said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, introduced similar legislation in 2010, but the bill never made it to the Senate floor.