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Senate Panel Holding Hearings to Address Counterfeit Goods Being Sold Online

(Radio Iowa) Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is taking part in a hearing today (Tuesday) to determine if more legislation is needed to address counterfeit, stolen and unsafe goods being sold online.

“This is a terrible problem because you can sell anything anywhere in the world by these big tech companies,” Grassley says. “Any consumer can buy almost anything anywhere on the internet.” For example, dozens of Iowa Hawkeye football fans are being turned away from Kinnick Stadium each Saturday with bogus tickets they bought online, thinking they were legit. Grassley says consumer confidence is being undermined by cyber swindlers.

Grassley says, “The bottom line is, you should have the same confidence in the product you’re buying if it comes off the internet or if you go to a brick-and-mortar store.” Grassley, a Republican, serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee which he says is working to determine whether to move forward with new bills targeting online counterfeiting and safety issues, or if existing laws on the books should be sufficient.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to pass legislation,” Grassley says. “Hopefully, it’s just getting the cooperation of big tech to a greater extent, but also to what extent is government over watch of the big tech not doing the job of protecting consumers.” Grassley co-sponsored a bill in March that aimed to combat the online sale of stolen, counterfeit and dangerous consumer products. It was called the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM Consumers) Act.

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