Following intense — but inconclusive — negotiations between Capitol Hill staffers and the private sector, a House subcommittee March 23 approved legislation targeted at preventing product code tampering.

The “Antitampering Act of 2000,” H.R. 2100, introduced last June by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), would prohibit anyone other than a consumer or manufacturer from altering or defacing product identification codes on or embedded in consumer goods. Violators could be hit with civil penalties, including treble damages, or possible life imprisonment for PIC tampering.

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