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Broadband providers in the US may be made responsible for any scam or malicious content that makes it past their filters, it has been suggested.

Passed by the country's House Financial Services Committee, the new Investor Protection Act calls on web companies to block any fraudulent material that claims to be from firms linked to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

According to the legislation, which may set a precedent for similar legal rulings across the globe, providers should block such information if they are "aware of facts or circumstances from which it is apparent that the material contains a misrepresentation".

It is thought that a failure to comply with the plans could mean the broadband firms are liable for damages.

The issue is the latest of many which could force internet companies to take a stand on major topics, alongside the UK government's plans to encourage providers to disconnect illegal filesharers.

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