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Mississippi Makes Caller ID Spoofing Illegal

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-be-sure-to-stop-in-late-june dept.

Communications 258

marklyon writes "HB 872, recently signed into law by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, makes Caller ID spoofing illegal. The law covers alterations to the caller's name, telephone number, or name and telephone number that is shown to a recipient of a call or otherwise presented to the network. The law applies to PSTN, wireless and VoIP calls. Penalties for each violation can be up to $1,000 and one year in jail. Blocking of caller identification information is still permitted."

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Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea. (4, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514594)

There shouldn’t need to be a law for this, though. Telcos should enforce it on their own.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514738)

How would enforcing a rule such as this enable telcos to make more money? I imagine that some of their larger customers are spoofers. And telcos are corporations. All corporations are inherently sociopathic, lacking in empathy, remorse, guilt, or any sense of right and wrong outside of "more money is right, less money is wrong."

If someone should do something, and they don't, we make a law to force them to.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (3, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514894)

How would enforcing a rule such as this enable telcos to make more money?

It pollutes the feature? At what point is it no longer worth getting caller ID, because the numbers are not reliable enough to be worth paying to have it...

But yeah, you have a point. The telcos really don’t have much incentive to prevent spoofing when their larger customers are doing it.

However, here’s my take, and why it still doesn’t need to be illegal IMHO. The companies who spoof are generally doing stuff that should be illegal anyway, right? That’s why they want to hide their identity. So as I see it, if we could crack down on them for those actions, spoofing wouldn’t be the big-business issue it currently is. Then, the primary spoofers would just be pranksters, and the telcos would have good reason to prevent it again.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515142)

Preventing spoofing in the first place makes it easier to track down illegal actions, right?

I think that if it was easy and common to spoof IP addresses, the internet would be even more of a cesspool.

I think elimnating spam had to do with positive identification of the sender? Seems like it has gone down over the past few years. I would guess most servers/relays drop email that cannot be properly tracked to the origin, they could do something similar with phonecalls.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (2, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515478)

It is obviously good... I am somewhat surprised to see this from my home state.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

Javagator (679604) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514958)

All corporations are inherently sociopathic, lacking in empathy, remorse, guilt...

A corporation pays my salary, so they can't be all bad.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (5, Funny)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515036)

All corporations are inherently sociopathic, lacking in empathy, remorse, guilt...

A corporation pays my salary, so they can't be all bad.

They only pay you because slavery is illegal. Doing the right thing because you have no choice doesn't count when good karma is being totted up.

Corporations are sociopaths (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515284)

If they decided it would be worth more money for them to grind you up and feed you to pigs, they would.

Right now you are bringing in more money than they are paying you. Hence your employment. If that wasn't the case you wouldn't be there. And if the penalty for murder was less steep, the odds of getting caught smaller, and if there was a pig food shortage - you'd be screwed.

Read up on the tobacco industry for current examples of what I'm talking about. They kill about half a million people in the United States [cancer.gov] every year, and all for profit. Money.

It should come as no surprise when a company does something less evil than that for money. The bar is set pretty high. So allowing people to spoof caller ID for cash? Mere child's play.

OP was exactly right about corporations being sociopaths. It's probably one of the most insightful things I've ever seen on /.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31514962)

On one hand, yes, it's about money, but on another, it's about money. If a telco customer can't rely on the telco for providing the proper information that the customer is paying for, then they will lose the customer to a telco who will.

Is it wrong for a customer to expect that a telco will provide proper service?

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515336)

I hate to rain on your wishful thinking, but if what you say actually worked in reality, there should be at least one telco that already prohibits caller ID spoofing. Is there?

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31515038)

If someone should do something, and they don't, we make a law to force them to.

Not going to argue about the particular case of caller-ID spoofing, but as a general principle this is an absolutely horrible way to approach things.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515300)

Really? You think laws are a bad idea? What method would you use to ensure that people's freedoms aren't infringed upon? As laws in a free democracy amount to nothing more than contracts between individuals, it seems as though you don't agree with the whole concept of contracts.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31515502)

I'm neither against laws nor contracts, so give the strawman a rest please. I'm saying that there's a major difference between "you should do X" and "you should be required to do X". The former does not automatically justify the latter.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515572)

Of course there is a difference between 'should do' and 'must do.' We are a free democracy, and we have a system for determining which 'should dos' become 'must dos.' I never said that every 'should' should be made into law. I'm saying every law is something that people 'should' do, but won't, without consequences.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1, Redundant)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514838)

Telcos should enforce it on their own.

Yeah and corporations should do all sorts of things they don't do. Which is why the government has to step in to make them do it.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (0, Offtopic)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514926)

If you want the billing number of the party that called, you want ANI. CLID is not for what you are talking about.

Regulation that has no concept of the subject it is regulating is worse than no regulation.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515094)

I really don't see your point. Whatever you show to other people when calling should be numbers you own. Why should the law be concerned with how that is actually implemented?

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515122)

Then make that the law. But there is a need for dialed out number to not be the displayed one for many legitimate and obvious reasons.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515392)

Then read the damn bill instead of shooting down straw men.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31514972)

I totally agree. But in the mean time, to fight off spoofers, it's best that you never pick up the phone at all for personal lines. To receive calls, merely let it run to the answering machine and, once the person has been identified, return the call to them. Do not call people that you do not know. You should not be receiving calls from people you do not know... ever.

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515000)

That’s so old-fashioned, though...

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515278)

Small question but ... what happens when all the people you know implement your philosophy? How do call somebody back when they have a policy of never picking up the phone?

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (2, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515126)

How? Seriously, how the hell would they enforce it? Companies use caller ID spoofing all the time! Look when an agent at your bank calls you from their call center. Does their phone number show up? Nope, its the 800 number, that you can call back the company on. Isn't that the same as spoofing? I mean, technically, its the exact same steps in the PBX to do it maliciously or not.

Then, you might have one call center in one region have a nice fat pipe coming in from ATT, a second call center handled by Verizon, but your 800 number is handled by sprint over in California. So how would ATT or verizon enforce the "spoofing rule" without having any knowledge or control over your 800 number?

Re:Not a bad idea... in fact, an obvious good idea (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515632)

How does anyone ever enforce anything? You punish those you catch doing it wrong, of course.

Further if the displayed number is one of your own, I don't see this as 'spoofing' at all. Read the law, I guess and see if they agree.

It is about time (5, Insightful)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514596)

This should be a federal law.

Re:It is about time (0, Offtopic)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515338)

You don't think there are enough federal laws already? How about we repeal some of the other shitty federal laws first before going and making new ones.

Huh? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514602)

...you mean this wasn't already illegal? Strange.

Wait, what? (4, Interesting)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514608)

If I spoofed my caller ID, how would they ever know without wiretapping me, or doing something else illegal? How would anyone ever get caught? This law seems unenforceable.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514630)

It's an all digital system, they WILL know.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514716)

It's an all digital system, they will know.

There, FTFY...

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514772)

If they knew beforehand, why would anyone spoof? I don't follow your logic here.

Re:Wait, what? (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515506)

Spoofing the caller ID doesn't mean you are untrackible. But it does mean the person who answers the phone gets the wrong impression who is calling.

For example if you work from XYZ company and you call out their Caller ID may get the main line number while your number is "Spoofed" as it is a legit use for it. That is why they don't stop it.

However if you spoof your own line with just fake information then the person will need to dig and get the information back. Usually being to much effort to be worth it.

But now with a bigger fine if someone spoofed a caller ID to Horass then you can double wammy them back. A slap on the hand and a year in jail.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514686)

Phone rings: caller ID says Joe .
Pick up phone: "Hello Mr , I'm from X Company, and we want you to have one of our fine credit cards."
Call and report X Company.

Re:Wait, what? (2, Interesting)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514704)

hmm.. slashdot ate some of the comment text there... guess i should have read the preview more closely.

Should read:
Phone rings: caller ID says Joe (your last name).
Pick up phone: "Hello Mr (your last name), I'm from X Company, and we want you to have one of our fine credit cards."
Call and report X Company.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515164)

what if his name is Joe though?

Re:Wait, what? (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514858)

It's actually quite simple. Telemarketers have been known to do this. It's quite obvious to get caught because the people you call who see you doing the spoofing will report you to the proper authorities. It's also easy enough for the telco to find out that you are doing this. The problem is that they haven't been stopping people from doing it hence why they had to come in and pass this law.

Re:Wait, what? (4, Informative)

jmcharry (608079) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514908)

There is a subtle difference between caller ID and ANI. ANI is used by the telco billing system and cannot be spoofed because it identifies the access line. CID can sometimes be spoofed by inserting bad data on a PRI line. Some telcos, however, check it.

CLID name not specified by caller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31514614)

Uh, I have a PRI line, and I definitely do not have any control over the CLID name displayed.

The name people see seems to come from any of a number of CNAM databases depending on the phone company terminating the call.

So everyone calling Mississippi is at risk of being prosecuted?

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514714)

Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
More stupid politicians makings laws about things they do not understand.

I bet they did not even know the difference between CLID and ANI.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514840)

Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
More stupid politicians makings laws about things they do not understand.

I bet they did not even know the difference between CLID and ANI.

Everyone should know the difference between the CLID and the ANI. The CLID is in the front and the ANI is in the back.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515138)

Why should they know? They're just mandating that the number you show when you dial someone is a number you own. A perfectly sensible rule and one which has been enforced by gentleman's agreements in other countries. Obviously gentleman's agreements aren't enough in Mississippi, and so they had to make a law.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (3, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515374)

The difference between ANI and CLID is that CLID is what gets displayed to people when their phone rings. That is where this issue begins and ends. If I go to the bank and take out a loan using stolen identity, it is illegal because the stolen identity is what I am displaying to the bank. The fact I might be carrying other, legitimate pieces of ID in my pocket is irrelevant, because I am trying to pass off false credentials as my own during the business transaction in question.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514910)

So everyone calling Mississippi is at risk of being prosecuted?

No. If you aren't spoofing your information then you have no risk at all of being prosecuted. This law is about people like telemarketers who are having their caller ID information changed so that they can get around things like call blockers.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31514970)

Ok, I'll slip my CLID database buddies a Benjamin and have the name displayed for your number changed to, oh I don't know, how about "JFK" or "White House"

now the next time you call Mississippi you're at risk of prosecution

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515030)

Legit call centers do this all the time. Do you think they have a line for each agent? Do you think that the agent is always there?

No, they display the phone number that accepts customer calls.

The folks who show a false number altogether are criminals who are not going to follow this new law either.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31515476)

how many times are you going to post this without paying attention to what the bill actually says?

It's very clear about using it for fraudulent purposes, as others have posted in reply to yourself.

Either you're ignorant of what it says (likely) or you run a shady telemarketing firm. Which is it?

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31514940)

You have control over your ANI with ISDN PRIs and generally all other high bandwidth telco interconnects such as DS3, etc. if you have your own PBX, the PBX determines what to send. For example, without getting too technical, if you work for a large company, and call someone from work, depending on how your telco people setup your PBX the recipient of the call may see your direct line caller ID (known as send calling party number or CPN in the Avaya world), a standard DID/DOD block identifier determined by the trunk group, or if your telco admins are really bad, they may just see your internal PBX extension which went somehow unmapped to a DID/DOD (Direct Inbound/Outbound Dial) number. This is the concept of the calling party sending the ANI (Automatic Number Identification if memory serves me correctly). The problem with an upstream carrier enforcing this is that a corporation may have 1000 employees, but only say 24 or 96 DID/DOD trunks available. Therefore, a specific 'port' cannot be assigned a specific number upstream, otherwise all 1000 employees would require a dedicated line which is MUCH more expensive and MUCH more of a pain in the ass.

Caller ID on the other hand, which is a service that your phone company may offer, is a lookup of the ANI you are being sent (all the way from the calling party) to a registry of responsible organizations/persons.

Re:CLID name not specified by caller (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515384)

IANAL but i feel like if I am not originating the call in Mississippi I don't see how I am bound by their laws. The state I make the call from allows it, I am not required to know their state laws, I don't set foot in their state, I don't operate a business in their state. I don't know enough about this to know whats involved in spoofing; but I know enough to know that unless they can prove that you willfully did something, and also that you did so under their jurisdiction I don't see how they can do anything.

As stated this seems like moronic, idiotic, technologically inept old politicians reacting to some knee jerk 'my sister got done scammed by them there telemarketers' and passing a law they know nothing about, have no way to enforce, and which targets the wrong group.

If you don't like caller id then stop paying for it. I don't think i have a single phone that uses it anyhow. Most people's cell phones don't actually do caller-id. They merely cross-reference the number from your contacts list. The last time I had a landline the caller-id wasn't smart enough to even do that; and merely stated names of places where calls were thought to have come from.... So i really dont care at all.

All in all, glad to see where these guys are wasting state money on. With real problems going on they are wasting time and taxpayer money on caller-id spoofing. Really? It's that high up on your agenda?

Name by Caller, 800 numbers are all faked. (2, Informative)

sampas (256178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515438)

Anon is correct. CallerID between telco does not support name. All you enter on your side is the number. The telco charges for the number-to-name entry, so if the name is incorrect, it's incorrect in the telco's database. Also, every time you see an 800 number in caller ID entry, it's false. You can't dial out on 800 lines. Whoever it is calling with 800 on their caller ID is actually calling from some other circuit.

Telemarketers? (1)

Rantastic (583764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514626)

It would be great if this could somehow be used against telemarketers. I guess it will depend on the specific details of how the law is written. Not to mention that its difficult to track down the company that called when they are faking their outbound number.

VOIP (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514660)

I'd like to see how they work this one out with Skype and other VOIP providers.

Re:VOIP (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514818)

I don't use VOIP, so I don't know... but do you have a POTS phone number for someone to call you? Then that's what your outbound CNID should reflect. If someone can't return a call to you at the number shown in the caller ID, it's a spoofed caller ID.

Re:VOIP (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514954)

Legit call centers do this all the time. Do you think they have a line for each agent? Do you think that the agent is always there?

No, they display their phone number that accepts customer calls.

Re:VOIP (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515326)

On the same note, spoofing to a number and name you legally own shouldn't be illegal, but that's sort of irrelevant.

Re:VOIP (1)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515024)

I haven't used Skype in a year or two but it was possible to have outbound service but no inbound number (if that's all you wanted to pay for). I'm sure there are other situations as well where an inbound number doesn't exist.

Re:VOIP (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515352)

Any time I've used Skype Out it's always shown up as 000-000-0000 or 012-345-6789.

Re:VOIP (1)

gregmac (629064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515604)

I do use VoIP, and I "spoof" in two specific situations:

Since I got a cell phone through my work, I had my old cell phone number (which I'd had for like 7 years, and it spells my name) ported to VoIP (I keep both numbers and have separate personal/work numbers, and only carry one device). Now when you call it, it simultaneously rings the phone in my home office, and my cell. When it calls my cell, it "spoofs" the outbound call to appear as though it's coming from whoever ACTUALLY called my number, so on my cell phone the caller id shows the true caller, and not as if someone at my house is calling.

The other time I use it is as a secondary VoIP service. I only have one inbound number (DID) for my "house" number, which is tied to a specific provider. I have another provider that is setup as a secondary service, in the case I try to make a call and the first is unreachable, or rejects my call for any reason. I don't have a DID with that provider, only outgoing service. So when I place calls from that line, I "spoof" my house DID number, so it doesn't show up as blocked or some random CLID.

Unfortunately, I don't see how they can distinguish these two uses from actual malicious spoofing, but I'm not in Mississippi (or the US for that matter) so this doesn't apply to me now.

Re:VOIP (1)

gontech (994373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515388)

I wondered about that, too. It seems like they thought about it in the bill:

"False information" means data that misrepresents the identity of the caller to the recipient of a call or to the network itself; however, when a person making an authorized call on behalf of another person inserts the name, telephone number or name and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is being made, such information shall not be deemed false information.

Re:VOIP (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515396)

Especially when I use my VoIP line to spoof my cell phone caller ID. That way, the return call gets to me wherever I am. That shouldn't be illegal.

Squeal like a pig! (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514678)

This seems like an ineffective use of legislation at first glance, but the next time somebody does the "your auto warranty is about to expire" trick, the first thing I'll ask is whether they logged any calls to Mississippi. If so, send their skinny little butts there for some quality time with the general prison population where they can think about what they've done.

I don't really even care about the fine. Throw them in the can with Bubba for a year per call to MS, and justice will have been done.

Nothing reforms a man like prison rape! (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514782)

In fact, let's just do away with prisons and sentence people to serve time in automated rape machines. Who cares about cruel or unusual punishment, these guys are spoofing telephone numbers!

I think their governor needs a call. (0, Offtopic)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514682)

I think their governor needs a call, straight from the Whitehouse to fix this mess up.

Better yet. (1)

digitalmonkey2k1 (521301) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514696)

They could just force ANI and drop CID, so it's not an issue.

Re:Better yet. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514760)

The politicians that made this law do not know that, nor did they bother to research it.

Re:Better yet. (2, Interesting)

nwf (25607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514942)

They could just force ANI and drop CID, so it's not an issue.

Except one can spoof ANI as well. On purely digital networks, you have to tell the system what number you are calling from, since it wouldn't otherwise know. Some carriers enforce a rule that your outgoing CID and ANI must be a number which you own, but not all do. If you have multiple carriers, they really can't do this effectively, since they don't know what numbers you terminate.

Plus toll free numbers aren't really on the same level as regular ones, since they are ALL redirected via the SMS 800 system to do all sorts of things, including routing based on time of day and originating location. They can also be forwarded to a "local" number or numbers, but they don't have to. Basically, all you could enforce from this law is to make sure people don't set CID to a number which is obviously not theirs, but finding who they really are is hard. I've called by phone company wanting to get call log info and they claim they don't even save it for other than outgoing long distance calls.

Re:Better yet. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515078)

The real problem is the POTS system. It needs to die. Everyone gets a voip phone and we use DNS to assign numbers. Nice and simple. No spoofing IPs if you want to be able to hear what the other party is saying.

Re:Better yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31515196)

They are probably lying.
  At least in Argentina I know they have 90 days backup immediately available, and I think much longer (10 years?) in other places. It's an anti-fraud measure from their point of view, no idea if it's mandated by law, but they would do it anyway.

Re:Better yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31515648)

Except one can spoof ANI as well.

Not really. ANI is what the telcos use for billing. If it were spoofable, you could make all the free calls to where ever you wanted for free. Do you really think the telcos would allow that? Not a chance.

Re:Better yet. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515254)

Agreed. I believe that's why the phone company makes it so hard to get an ISDN line, because ISDN relies on the caller's equipment to accurately send the CID. A CID is so easy to spoof that they are worthless. An ANI is much harder to spoof.

In other news... (1)

Rantastic (583764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514750)

...all telemarketing firms in Mississippi are relocating to other states.

Re:In other news... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515064)

Wouldn’t help: calling into Mississippi using spoofed caller ID data would be commission of a crime in Mississippi and they could be prosecuted no matter from where they were based.

They’d have to stop calling Mississippi, or stop spoofing their caller ID on those calls anyway.

Re:In other news... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515148)

And who is going to extradite over this?

Route the calls to a PSTN gateway to another country. Then you will not even know where they really called from.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31515416)

Then this law will get overturned real early as it is against the interstate commerce clause. Mississippi cannot force a non Mississippi corp to do anything unless it is qualified to do business in the state, and even then its powers would fall short. What they can do is stop either Mississippi resident from spoofing caller ID. Also if a foreign corp has a call center in the state then they are subject to its laws.

I really think this is a good idea, but looks to be a tiger w/o much teeth.

Simple solution (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514794)

Telemarketers will call from another state and use a PSTN gateway in yet another state/country. All this does is move telemarketing jobs out of a state that badly needs any jobs it can get.

Re:Simple solution (2, Insightful)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515086)

Or they'll stay in Mississippi and *gasp* display their real company name in their Caller ID!

If a company is so slimy that it would move out of state just to avoid displaying their real name on phone calls, well . . . that's pretty slimy.

I guess that's most telemarketers, but still.

Re:Simple solution (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515280)

They call for another company. If I am bob from "Bob's telemarketing and general annoyances" and I call for AT&T, whose number do I display? AT&T would prefer that I give theirs, and I would too as I do not take calls in. As I am not that scammy I only call current AT&T customers about new options. What number do I display?

Re:Simple solution (1)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515646)

Well, that is a problem. Still, most customers, including me, are going to be somewhat irritated that a third-party company is calling them in the first place. Maybe it's OK if they're doing something that doesn't need much knowledge of (in your example) AT&T, like a customer satisfaction survey. But if they're trying to sell me an AT&T product, shouldn't I be talking to AT&T instead of someone else? In that case I want to know it's "Bob's telemarketing and general annoyances."

Re:Simple solution (2, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515236)

Why would they do that? They can still block caller ID and they can still show any number they own. Why would they want to show someone else's phone number, and why should we let them?

Does this make Google Voice illegal? (0)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514824)

The Google Voice app on my Blackberry will allow me to initiate calls from my cell that show my Google Voice number on the caller ID, rather than my cell phone's number. Through the Google Voice web page, I can initiate calls from nearly any phone but my GV number will be displayed to recipients.

Re:Does this make Google Voice illegal? (4, Informative)

Rantastic (583764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514900)

I think not, as the law is pretty clear about requiring

...THE INTENT TO DECEIVE, DEFRAUD OR MISLEAD;

and since your Google Voice number is still a number belonging to you, I doubt it would be a crime to use it as your caller id.

Re:Does this make Google Voice illegal? (1)

Sarkoon (242637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515180)

I have a personal Asterisk server that I've configured with a call-forwarding feature that routes incoming calls to a variety of phones so I can answer calls from the most convenient device at any time. In order to relay the incoming caller-id information, I have to set my outgoing caller-id to that of the caller so that my cell phone shows me the caller's caller-id and not my server's caller-id.

I do not intend to decieve, default or mislead, but my server is making calls (to my own phones) with other people's caller-id all the time.

Re:Does this make Google Voice illegal? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515106)

I think the key here is twofold:

When you call someone, does the name in the caller ID it say it’s you?

If they return the call to the number it displayed, will they reach you?

Re:Does this make Google Voice illegal? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515248)

You own the Google Voice number, and it is a number that can be called to reach you. It's your number, not someone else's. Therefore, using it as a return number is not entering "false" information.

From the actual law as passed:

SECTION 2. As used in this act:
[...]
(d) "False information" means data that misrepresents the identity of the caller to the recipient of a call or to the network itself; however, when a person making an authorized call on behalf of another person inserts the name, telephone number or name and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is being made, such information shall not be deemed false information.

Google could easily be considered an "authorized agent" and they are putting in the telephone number they have issued to you. Plus your Google Voice number does not misrepresent your identity. So there are two outs in that provision that make Google Voice calls legit.

SECTION 4. This act does not apply to:
[...]
(d) A telecommunications, broadband or voice-over-Internet service provider that is acting solely as an intermediary for the transmission of telephone service between the caller and the recipient.

This probably covers things like calling cards, where your call comes from some bizarr-o phone number your recipient has never heard of. But it could easily apply to Google Voice. Even if they used a random phone number from a list of numbers they own, they would not be in violation, as long as they didn't put someone else's name or a phone number actually belonging to someone else in there. If you got a call from "UNKNOWN" at "1-800-GOOGLE1" and it was forwarded by Google, that's valid. If you got a call from "INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE" "1-800-TAX-U-ASS" then that would be fraudulent.

Also, from a technical perspective, you are not calling the recipient from your cell phone. The Google Voice app sends a signal to Google saying "the next call from this number should be forwarded to phone number (the number you asked it to dial) for account (you)". Then it initiates a call to one of its access numbers, which uses your caller ID to figure out which Google Voice number to use on the outbound caller ID and who to call. Technically, you are calling Google from your phone, and they are calling the recipient per your request, and presenting valid information about you to the recipient of the call.

Re:Does this make Google Voice illegal? (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515306)

You are not actually spoofing your caller ID. It is just that Google is calling you and the other person and conferencing you both. This can no way be construed as caller ID spoofing.

Collection Company's (1, Interesting)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514830)

This will put a hick up in collection company's practices since they do it all the time. I wonder how it will affect call centers since call centers normally spoof the caller ID to match the company they are calling on behalf of.

Re:Collection Company's (0, Redundant)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514874)

Simple, those jobs will be leaving that state!

Re:Collection Company's (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515048)

Ah, but if they have written the law correctly (I haven't RTA and since these are politicians I think it is a longshot) you would be able to go to court and get the state court to nullify your debt based on the criminal action of the debt collector. A law written in such a manner would go a long way to stopping the practice (and I am pretty sure it would stand up, I know that several states have laws that if you record a telephone conversation without the other person's knowledge you can be fined several thousand dollars, even if you are calling from another state).

Re:Collection Company's (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515350)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but even if they leave the state, anyone that calls a resident of that state and spoofs caller ID is in violation of the law. All they would have to do is extradite the offenders to the state and try them.

Re:Collection Company's (1)

Tihstae (86842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514984)

You people trying to use common sense and thinking about the details are ridiculous. Lawmakers are too busy taking money our of our pockets to worry about these details and that money will be used to enforce this law which will require more of your money. See, all clear now.

Re:Collection Company's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31514998)

Hey, that's "Country Folks", you insensitive clod!

Re:Collection Company's (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515168)

Someone would have to sue them for it. Since most customers probably _want_ to know that, rather than the name of the call center, it seems unlikely that anyone would pursue a case based on that.

Re:Collection Company's (4, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515264)

You really need to read the law: "however, when a person making an authorized call on behalf of another person inserts the name, telephone number or name and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is being made, such information shall not be deemed false information."

Re:Collection Company's (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515298)

To clarify, I was responding to the call center bit.

The collection agency bit is easy. They will continue spoofing numbers, but the people in Mississippi will simply lose their jobs when the collection agency moves to another state where their practices are legal. If this becomes a federal law, then the call will come from India, China, or any of a number of countries where the law does not apply. Or they'll just start blocking caller ID entirely.

Re:Collection Company's (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515320)

You could at least read the bill [state.ms.us] before panicking.

"however, when a person making an authorized call on behalf of another person inserts the name, telephone number or name and telephone number of the person on whose behalf the call is being made, such information shall not be deemed false information."

Re:Collection Company's (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515356)

This will put a hick up in collection company's practices since they do it all the time.

I think that impersonation as a means to collect a debt was made illegal over a decade ago, check the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act for the details.

business use (1)

blackC0pter (1013737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31514934)

What about if I want to use caller ID spoofing for my business lines. I operate my own PBX (asterix) for my business and in order to provide a single point of contact for my customers, I link all of my phones to the same phone line. So calling from my desk phone or from my home phone will show up as the same phone number so that I can be working regardless of my physical location. I have also considered setting up a redirect system from my cell phone so that I call into my PBX and then it calls someone for me so I can mask the caller ID of my cell phone. This way I don't give out my cell phone's number and customers only see my single phone line.

Which part of the above becomes illegal by this new law? Or would any of this be considered illegal? Is it only wrong if you are spoofing a number you don't own?

Also, when you have low level control over a pbx and direct access to a voip wholesale provider, the caller id name and number are just settings you define. I actually noticed a bug in some of my caller scripts recently that improperly setup the caller id for some internal redirects to the outside world. Would I be liable for not properly setting the caller ID on all of my lines in this scenario under this new law?

Prank Calls (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515072)

Now I can't spoof my identity as Bea O'Problem or Amanda Hugginkiss ...

Re:Prank Calls (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515296)

One of the guys in my office does this with his google voice account. He calls our boss with it during meetings. It is hilarious.

Why bother spoofing? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515414)

Why bother spoofing the caller ID when you can just block caller ID altogether? I'd just ignore "Unknown Caller" calls, except for the fact that my daughter's school makes emergency phone calls to parents with caller ID blocked... sigh. I point out to them every year that this is a problem, but they are too cheap to fix it. (Obviously they are using trunk lines from each school through the district headquarters, so if they displayed the number for the outgoing line, calling it back wouldn't put you in touch with the same person that called you. Also, they are too cheap to just use the main number for the district as a caller ID like every business in the country, 'cause then they would have to hire a receptionist to figure out who you actually wanted to contact.)

Blocked (0, Troll)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31515556)

Who is this Blocked person, and why does he keep calling me?

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