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Caller ID Spoofing About to be Outlawed


Sidepocket
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Today the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has passed S. 704, a bill that would make it a crime to spoof caller ID. Dubbed the "Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007," the bill would outlaw causing "any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information" via "any telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service." Law enforcement is exempted from the rule.

While we all probably wish this would outlaw caller-ID blocking (think "Private"), it won't. The proposed legislation only targets misleading caller ID spoofing, such as pranking your buddy by sending along "Bush, G.H.W." with your next VoIP call.

"Caller ID provides critical information to those who rely on it," said Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) in a statement. "However, when this technology is used to deceive people it can endanger personal privacy and safety. This bill will help strengthen the ability of the FCC and states to combat these nefarious practices." We all know Stevens is just sick of getting calls from "Tubes, Internet" and "Mr. Giant Truck."

The bill was introduced in February by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). A similar act has been introduced in the House and passed, making it very likely that this little bill will indeed someday become a law.

But is it needed? Caller ID spoofing can be annoying, and there are indeed several websites online that will happily help you prank your friends. It's hardly an epidemic, but then that's what makes it an ideal law to pass: there is no pro-caller ID spoofing lobby, outside of law enforcement.

On a serious note, caller ID spoofing can be used to bypass dial-in systems that use your calling location to determine who you are. Supposedly none other than Paris Hilton used this technique to break into Lindsay Lohan's voicemail, but somehow we doubt the veracity of that specific claim.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070...e-outlawed.html

8-)

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I'm indifferent towards this legislation.  While it would make doing something that's somewhat illegal, it does help to know that you are actually talking to the person that your caller id says it is.  I can't see how this would infringe on any freedoms.  I'm interested to see how this'll be enforced though.

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I'm indifferent towards this legislation.  While it would make doing something that's somewhat illegal, it does help to know that you are actually talking to the person that your caller id says it is.  I can't see how this would infringe on any freedoms.  I'm interested to see how this'll be enforced though.
The telecoms will hand this down requiring this to be verified, and all of them will comply.  Oh well I shall miss that 'feature'
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