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CallerID Spoofing to be Made Illegal

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the phoning-home dept.

Privacy 351

MadJo writes "US Congress has just approved a bill that will make it illegal to spoof CallerID. From the bill: 'The amount of the forfeiture penalty (...) shall not exceed $10,000 for each violation, or 3 times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total of $1,000,000 for any single act or failure to act.'"

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Interesting (3, Interesting)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685067)

That's a law that should be more proactive than reactive.

How about an additional law that makes telephone companies responsible for allowing caller ID spoofing to happen?

Or is that too difficult to prevent?

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685175)

Allowing subscriber lines to set caller ID data is a feature, not a bug.

-Peter

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685309)

A feature that can be abused IS a bug.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

smartr (1035324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685767)

If slashdot's comments and moderation can be abused, how is that a bug? Some features are inherently prone to different forms of abuse, and there is no magical way to completely solve the problem without removing the feature. I do not have faith in the idea that features can always have a perfect solution. If there was not a mistake in how something should function, it is not a bug. One could make improvements to make abuses harder, but this would be an improvement on the system - not a bug fix.

Upside-down. (4, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685343)

Leave it to Slashdot to predictably label fraud as a "feature" and laws designed to prevent it "nannystate".

Re:Upside-down. (4, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685439)

That's the damn thing. Last I checked we already had laws against fraud. So why make a law specifically towards something like this? I can understand the disabilities act, but really, go after spoofers for fraud and if the penalty isn't high enough ADJUST the penalty for fraud across the board. We're making every damn little thing a frickin' crime in this country anymore.

Re:Upside-down. (3, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685647)

The reason they make a law like this is to
limit the liability. It's a fixed amount.

That is the number one reason laws have no teeth,
they have fixed monetary penalties, that are
really no penalty to big business. They are
just a cost of doing business to the business.

Re:Upside-down. (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685721)

Last I checked we already had laws against fraud. So why make a law specifically towards something like this?
Because one size does not fit all.

Should impersonating a police officer, identity theft, false advertising and passing fake checks all have the same punishment? These are all, at the base, fraud. Could they even reasonably fit under one singular law?

We're making every damn little thing a frickin' crime in this country anymore.
Here's the thing, the general term "fraud" is not illegal. Only specific forms of fraud. For example, claiming you can bench 200 lbs when you can barely press half that is not illegal. So, instead of just making "fraud" illegal, laws target specific types, and they *define* those specific types. Caller ID spoofing probably doesn't fall into any existing category of fraud, so this form of fraud can be presently engaged in with impunity.

So what choices are there? Basically, they are to expand an existing law to cover Caller ID spoofing, create a new law, or ignore it altogether. Ergo this story.

Re:Upside-down. (2, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685445)

Leave it to someone who doesn't know what they're talking about to determine what should be considered "fraud". Do you implement the evil bit [faqs.org] ? I hear it's supposed to prevent hackers and fraud and all that...

Re:Upside-down. (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685621)

Leave it to someone who doesn't know what they're talking about to determine what should be considered "fraud".
Hrm... And how did you come to this conclusion?

Do you implement the evil bit? I hear it's supposed to prevent hackers and fraud and all that...
Pathetic.

Your post is all baseless ad hominem, and no fact.

Re:Interesting (1)

Ledsock (926049) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685601)

It can be viewed as both, much like the Firefox memory leak feature/bug. It is a feature in that it allows people to use VOIP and have it display the name and phone number and allows businesses to change the name/number to be appropriately displayed (EG someone located outside of a department physically calling someone and having the correct department number/name show). It also can be abused by phone phishers posing as charities or legitimate businesses to steal credit card info. The fact that it can be done without the approval or consent of the phone company or the government is what should be at issue, not the technology itself. If the law passes some legitimate uses will be forfeit, such as the funny ad calls you can set up on some commercial websites (Snakes on a Plane and the Wii game Red Steel both had that feature), along with VOIP and other uses.

DEATH TO "UNKNOWN CALLER" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685069)

And death to Verizon for not letting me block it.

You don't have to answer it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685377)

Or, if you wish, you can answer it and say, "Since you've blocked your phone number from showing up on my caller ID, I'm not going to talk to you. If you are going to invade my privacy, you WILL let me know who you are. Have a nice day. Goodbye."

And since they called you, they get to pay for getting that lesson in manners.

Re:You don't have to answer it.... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685583)

As someone who does medical tech repairs I would very much appreciate a response like that so I can close the issue (on my side) that much faster for non-compliance.

Seems better than me arguing the first 2 minutes that I am not trying to sell them something or steal their children.

Re:You don't have to answer it.... (1, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685763)

Wow, your customers are "noncompliant" for choosing not to receive calls from blocked CID?

What company do you work for, so I can avoid doing business with them?

NannyState? (2, Interesting)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685071)

This isn't "NannyState" at all, this is an attempt at stopping scammers and other slimeballs from taking advantage of people.

Re:NannyState? (1, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685323)

NannyState is when the government overregulates something that's really none of its business. Like privately-owned telecommunications companies.

Re:NannyState? (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685839)

NannyState is when the government overregulates something that's really none of its business. Like privately-owned telecommunications companies.

I'm no fan of over-regulation, but I was glad to see this one pass. Lot's of people are completely unaware that caller ID even can be spoofed. If they got a call that appeared to be from someone at their bank, they'd give their account number to get some issue straightened out.

Aside from prank phone calls, the only use for Caller ID spoofing is fraud, which is definitely a government issue.

Re:NannyState? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685565)

Oh then what is a nanny state, let's see now by your logic none of these are bad as they perform a social good:
-Banning smoking is there to keep people from being subjected to a dangerous substance
-Same for banning junk food.
-Same for banning any violent media, for psychological reasons to prevent people from becoming murderers.
-Banning term such as master/slaveon hard drives is there to prevent social discrimination, unconsciously, of certain groups or causing said group to be subjected to mental anguish.
-Cutting down of mature chestnut trees as it keeps children from slipping on fallen nuts.

Re:NannyState? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685723)

What does any of this stuff have to do with maintenance of laws against wire fraud?

Re:NannyState? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685815)

If you justify something as not being a nanny state law or as being a good law even simply because it prevents something bad from happening (in some cases, when idiots are involved, when reality ceases to exist, in the words of the law proponents or in any such way) then all of those are either not nanny state laws or good laws.

Re:NannyState? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685631)

No, this is an attempt by ill-informed politicians to make it sound like they are "doing something".


I use Caller*ID Spoofing in two separate ways:


1. When I'm working at home and need to call from my cell phone, I have the caller*id setup to show it is coming from my desk phone. This is so that I don't get customers calling my cell phone.


2. When outbound calls are placed at "the office", the caller*id is set to the toll-free number.


Unless the bill has a provision for allowing you to set the caller*id to numbers that you "have control of", it is really dumb. However, even if it does, it is still dumb.. The only calls I ever get fall into three categories:


1. Normal caller*id with a legit callback number for the person calling


2. A private/restricted number


3. All 0's or 1's for the caller*id.


That is all.

Does this mean... (2)

Ub3rT3Rr0R1St (920830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685077)

Does this mean I won't be able to call my ex girlfriend up at 3am with a phone number she doesn't recognize, and proceed to breathe heavily into the phone?

But seriously, I think it's a good idea. They've closed the door to many a tele-scammer. Hopefully now all those geriatrics who get their social security card stolen will have a little more security.

Re:Does this mean... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685129)

so how does this make anyone any safer? all it does is up the penalty not prevent the crime. people always delude themselfs that high penalties will prevent crimes, even though the truth slaps them in the face everyday - people commit crimes thinking they won't get caught, hence the penalty doesn't matter.

Re:Does this mean... (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685183)

Does this mean I won't be able to call my ex girlfriend up at 3am with a phone number she doesn't recognize, and proceed to breathe heavily into the phone?
We gotcha covered. Post her number and the friendly folks here at slashdot will do it for you.

Re:Does this mean... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685511)

212-555-1212. Thanks guys


To those not aware, it's New York City's information number. Before tons of people wrack up toll charges and yell at me because they thought they might hear a woman's voice and got all excited. Actually, this is slashdot, so maybe the robotic woman's voice at the other end does something for people out there.

Re:Does this mean... (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685789)

I expected 212-867-5309

Granted, that chick has got to be really old by now....

Problem? (1)

VariableGHz (1099185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685083)

I didn't know that CallerID spoofing was a big issue.

Re:Problem? (1)

ScottyMcScott (1003155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685485)

well now you do.

Re:Problem? (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685571)

I didn't know that CallerID spoofing was a big issue.
well now you do.
And knowing is half the battle!

Simple question (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685085)

When the police/people see the incoming phone records, will it show the spoofed number or the real number?

Re:Simple question (4, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685791)

When the police/people see the incoming phone records, will it show the spoofed number or the real number?
Police and the phone company use the ANI system (Automatic Number Identification). This is the system that tracks your billing. You do not have any say in what this system records as far as Name, Number, etc. Caller ID is a separate and unrelated system. Caller ID information is usually set by the originating switch--- essentially the point where the call turns from analog to digital. If you get all your lines piped into your office via a T1, then you are in control of the device that sets the Caller ID name and number and can set it whatever you like.

3 times a day (2, Interesting)

sxeraverx (962068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685093)

So...If they get caught 3 times in one day, they can do it as much as they want that day? And...If they get caught 100 times, they can do it all they want forever? Fun.

How will they enforce this? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685097)

If the ID has been spoofed, they might be able to know after the fact that it was spoofed, but how do they find out what it really was if it was spoofed in the first place?

Re:How will they enforce this? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685429)

There are several services out there that will do this real-time before you even answer the call. Like PDXUSA, they compare the ANI with the ID of the carrier originating the call, and the CID to see if they are consistent, then the CID display on your phone will indicate the CID, the ANI, and indicate if the CID is legit or not.

Hope I don't misconfigure my VOIP settings... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685107)

Man... that's harsh... VOIP let's you reconfigure your CallerID... hope I never get that setting wrong.

By the way, did anyoen see the supreme court rulings today? Is American getting shittier?

Details? (1, Interesting)

detain (687995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685111)

Ok so I had recently adjusted my packet8 account to show my name as 'Harry Potter' instead of my real name, would this fall under that law? For the mean time to be safe I reverted it back to showing a proper name, however I much prefer to have it something silly. Do we have anyone that can translate this new law to let us know wether or not this is targeting everyone or just people using it to scam people out of money or use it for social engineering purposes.

Re:Details? (1)

detain (687995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685181)

Also, is this now current law or something still in the works?

Re:Details? (1)

number11 (129686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685553)

TFA shows it to be "in the works", and not, as the blurb says, passed into law. It may well end up being passed, but it doesn't look like it has been yet.

S.704
Title: A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit manipulation of caller identification information.
Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 2/28/2007) Cosponsors (4)
Latest Major Action: 6/27/2007 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably.ALL ACTIONS:

2/28/2007:
        Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR S2360-2361)
2/28/2007:
        Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. (text of measure as introduced: CR S2361-2362)

        6/21/2007:
                Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Hearings held.
        6/27/2007:
                Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably.


Its companion bill did pass in the House:
H.R.251
Title: To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit manipulation of caller identification information, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-17] (introduced 1/5/2007) Cosponsors (31)
Latest Major Action: 6/13/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
House Reports: 110-188MAJOR ACTIONS:

1/5/2007 Introduced in House
6/11/2007 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rept. 110-188.
6/12/2007 Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
6/13/2007 Referred to Senate committee: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Re:Details? (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685213)

CNAM data is not passed across the PSTN -- only the number is passed, and the destination telco must do a CNAM lookup. That's why out-of-area CNAM data is spoty at best. Hence your "spoofed" name is only visible inside the packet8 network.

A campaign (5, Informative)

ringokamens (1121851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685117)

There's a campaign going on at Binary Freedom right now that some of you may be interested in.
http://binaryfreedom.info/node/163 [binaryfreedom.info]
Basically, there are several arguments against this law

1. It doesn't do anything
Criminals will still make calls and spoof, so it won't stop fraud. Police can already track down spoofers with the same amount of non-spoofers who are using their phones for illegal purposes.

2. It costs money
We're gonna have to spend money to catch spoofers.

3. Jurisdiction
If the phone companies want to stop spoofing, they should design a secure system instead of relying on the congressional police

4. Privacy
It strips privacy that is gained by spoofing.

5. Legitimate use
It has legitimate uses such as for telecommuters who want the name when they make business calls to be the company's. Or how about a business that has several people using one phone line? They might want the sales associate's name to appear, which would be done through spoofing.

Fact of the matter is, this gains us nothing. If I can write a fake name on a letter and mail it, why can't I do the same with my phone?

Re:A campaign (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685157)

actually genius you cant, it's called mail fraud, and carries heavy pentalies similar to this.

Re:A campaign (1)

ringokamens (1121851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685187)

No, mail fraud occurs when you use a fake name on a package to do something illegal. Unless you do something illegal (like mail a pipe bomb to somebody) then it's perfectly legal.

Re:A campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685277)

You don't make any sense. What's next, it is illegal to breathe while you're committing a murder?

Re:A campaign (2, Informative)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685265)

Fraud generally requires either a pecuniary motive, or commission of the act in furtherance of some other crime. Simply putting some name that is not my own on a letter is neither of these things. I could sign my letters "Harry Potter" and the name as such wouldn't even be impersonation because the "victim" doesn't exist. Is this Mail Fraud? I don't think so...unless I was attempting to somehow profit from putting "Harry Potter" as my name.

Re:A campaign (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685797)

Yup, and don't forget all those volunteers who reply to mail sent to "Santa Claus" on behalf of the post office.

Re:A campaign (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685177)

Argument #4 is really weak. You can always not send caller ID if you want privacy.

Re:A campaign (1)

ringokamens (1121851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685249)

True, but you get even more privacy with a pseudonym

Re:A campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685415)

False, a pseudonym provides no additional privacy over sending no ID.

What spoofing does give you is the ability to deceptively make anonymous calls where the intent of the receiving party to block calls with no ID.

Re:A campaign (2, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685859)

Nope. Once a pseudonym can be associated with you, all records associated with that pseudonym can, as well. The only way a pseudonym can give you privacy is if you use a different one every time.

Want true privacy? Achieve anonymity.

Re:A campaign (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685231)

I work for Congress, but not on this issue. But I can correct some misinformation.

1. You're right. We shouldn't make murder illegal either.

2. See number 1. The question is whether the money spent on this law is worth the societal good of making it easier to prosecute scammers.

3. The phone companies don't have an incentive to stop scamming. Congress does (they're occasionally responsible to voters.)

4. It doesn't stop you from not allowing the number to show up at all. It just stops you from faking it.

5. It was specifically written to exempt these uses, since Congressional offices, for example, have the public number show up when people call out from them, rather than individual extensions.

Re:A campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685435)

4. It doesn't stop you from not allowing the number to show up at all. It just stops you from faking it.

It doesn't stop me from doing anything. The POTS network is still broken.

Re:A campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685263)

Wrong.

- Commuters and business can still use a different BUT VALID CallerID string such as an inbound customer service number).
- You can still falsify your own callerID for fun... the law required an indent to commit fraud.
- There is no loss in privacy. You can still BLOCK your callerID. There is a right to TRUTHFUL speech, but no right to speak falsely with an intent to commit fraud.
- With telemarketers that spoof callerID, it removes that activity from the "grey area" of legality and makes it easier to prosecute them.
- I bust illegal telemarketers falsifying their callerID all the time. Its simple and easy... get a call detail report from the phone company via subpoena. I do it at least once a month.
- The phone companies have a "foolproof" system... ANI.
- Services like PDXUSA are coming out that will give you the ANI and callerID, and verify the callerID is valid or faked.
- False information sent through the mail, with the intent to defraud, is mail fraud.... and if signed into law, false information sent via callerID with the intent to defraud will also be illegal.

Re:A campaign (5, Insightful)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685305)

I'm not so much worried about criminals, but I don't think this bill addresses what I want it to:

I'm sick of companies calling and their damn name not showing up, for whatever reason. "Tollfree number" (well no shit, other than collect, when do I get charged for receiving calls?) or "Unknown Caller"

Some of them are bill collectors. Who want someone that isn't here, and don't seem to want to believe that no, that person isn't here, and isn't going to be, so stop calling me. But either way, if they can't identify themselves, they shouldn't be calling my damn number. Which is why I disagree with #4 on your list.

If you're calling my house, I have every right to know who you are. Can you seriously come up with a legitimate situation where you should be able to call me and me not be able to see who you are before I answer the phone?

I barely answer unless I recognize the number anyway, because of a massive amount of wrong numbers. And some of the numbers these idiots are trying to dial aren't even close.

I agree with #3, however, in regards to #2, the cost of it will just be passed on to you one way or another. #5 I can see, but I've never had a business call me and use a sales associate's name.

#1 is a silly argument. Making rape illegal hasn't stopped it, either. You can make the case that no law is ever going to stop any crime. However, it makes it so that if you do it and get caught, you can be punished.

Re:A campaign (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685533)

Some of them are bill collectors. Who want someone that isn't here, and don't seem to want to believe that no, that person isn't here, and isn't going to be, so stop calling me. But either way, if they can't identify themselves, they shouldn't be calling my damn number. Which is why I disagree with #4 on your list.

This is what I'm running into now. I just got my first cellphone (I know, I know), and apparently the person who had this number before is skipping out on some bills. Problem is, I got one of the Virgin 18c/min deals, so it costs me every time I answer. They're just happy to keep calling back over and over, but it's pissing me off.

Re:A campaign (4, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685849)

"Can I have your mailing address?"

Certified mail:

In reference to your repeated attempts to find Person X on phone number X, consider yourself formally informed that this person has no connection with this number, and further, that this number is a cellular service for which an uninvolved third party is billed for each call from your business. Accordingly, you are instructed to cease and desist calling this number in relation to this matter, or I reserve the right to take action on the grounds that these calls are civil harassment, and to seek redress through appropriate channels for costs and damages incurred in dealing with this matter."

Re:A campaign (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685317)

1. It doesn't do anything Criminals will still make calls and spoof, so it won't stop fraud. Police can already track down spoofers
This will give the police $10,000 teeth they did not have before.

2. It costs money We're gonna have to spend money to catch spoofers.
Freedom is not free.

3. Jurisdiction If the phone companies want to stop spoofing, they should design a secure system instead of relying on the congressional police
Who says the phone companies want to stop spoofing? What they want is for customers to pay their bills.

This is a consumer protection bill and protecting the citizenry is raison d'etre of the government.

4. Privacy It strips privacy that is gained by spoofing.
"Privacy" does not equate to "lying to get people to answer a sales call they would otherwise have exercised their right to ignore".

5. Legitimate use It has legitimate uses
No, no it really doesn't. Being a deceptive cheat is not "legitimate use" in a civilized society.

Re:A campaign (3, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685367)

WRT point 5, what the bill outlaws is "to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information." If a company has its PBX configured so that it sends a salesperson's name rather than the company's name when she makes a call, I think a lawyer would have no problem deflecting an attempt to prosecute. After all, the name displayed *was* the name of the person making the call, so none of the information was false or misleading.

For the person who wondered if having his caller ID say "Harry Potter" could get him in trouble, it sounds like it could, although in practical terms I think someone would have to actually complain about that for him to get in trouble. I think how this law will be used in practice is for "piling on" charges when arresting scammers on other charges. The more you can charge them with, the more expensive it is for them to defend it and the more jail time and fines you can get on them.

Still, as others have suggested, I believe congress is approaching this from the wrong angle. It is certainly possible for the Telcos to solve this problem by preventing spoofing in the first place, but they don't because they have no incentive to do so. They also have some disincentive to do so: there are people who want to spoof, for good reasons or bad, and these people are telco customers. If the major telcos all blocked spoofing, they'd take their business to someone who didn't. However, congress can give telcos incentive to block spoofing by requiring them to do so and levying hefty fines if they don't.

They'll whine, sure. Companies that don't want to do something always whine. Look at the auto industry. Going back to the first legislation requiring emission controls, and later, CAFE imposing mileage standards, there was much lobbying, whining, wringing of hands, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and protestations that it was too difficult, to expensive, or both. Yet, lo and behold, they've done a pretty fine job of meeting these requirements. In doing so, they illustrated very well the difference between "can't' and "don't want to." The telcos would be no different. They'd gripe about it, but they'd get it done.

Re:A campaign (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685807)

Actually, only a caller ID number can be spoofed. The number -> name correlation is a database lookup done at the phone company; customers have no control of that on a call-by-call basis.

Re:A campaign (1)

rek2 (1091071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685449)

I agree with Ringo on this arguments...

Re:A campaign (1)

phliar (87116) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685487)

I agree with you that these kinds of laws are crap since somehow businesses always get away with all kinds of shit while college kids and regular people are fined and thrown in jail for nothing. Every law diminishes us; there's a real cost to every law, which must be carefully weighed against the claimed benefit.

However:

If I can write a fake name on a letter and mail it, why can't I do the same with my phone?

Do you feel the same way about email?

I feel very strongly that in any interaction, you can either be truthful about your identity or you can be anonymous. There is no middle ground; you are not allowed to lie about who you are.

(Proxy relations, where person X is authorised to speak for person Y, aren't the same: if I get a letter from a lawyer, I know very clearly it's not X, but Y speaking for X. But the CLID field is not the place for that.)

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685545)

Points 1-4 apply equally well to spam. Have you thought that this isn't intended to be pursued by police, but rather meant as a way of reducing abusive behaviour once it has been identified by the victim?

Obligatory Neo Con rebuttal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685121)

Oh drats and double drats upon this communist nanny state!

First it'll be falsified phone numbers, next it'll be falsified emails! Then you'll be put in jail for wearing a mask outside the house!

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!!!

Congress isn't allowed to do this... (3, Insightful)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685133)

According to the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, Congress isn't allowed to regulate communications. Therefore this is unconstitutional.

Re:Congress isn't allowed to do this... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685221)

a) Nowhere does it say that they can't regulate communications.

b) Ever read the interstate commerce clause?

Re:Congress isn't allowed to do this... (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685307)

Is every call made over state lines in pursuance of some act of commerce? If not, I don't see how Congress could claim the right to regulate every call. BTW, they are called enumerated powers; the list is exhaustive of what they can do, point being if it isn't on the list, it isn't something they can do. At least, that was the original notion...

Re:Congress isn't allowed to do this... (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685355)

ARRRRRG.

You're gonna get me started!

Not only was it only enumerated powers, they felt so strongly about it they passed an Amendment just to make it clear they meant only enumerated powers!

ARGGGGG.

Re:Congress isn't allowed to do this... (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685703)

This is why I'm a Constitutionalist first and a libertarian second.

Interstate calls ARE interstate commerce (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685707)

If you call someone in another state and the phone company gets paid for the call, it's interstate commerce.

If any of the phone companies involved are incorporated in another state, then it's also interstate commerce.

As far as the feds are concerned, the parties to the commerce are the people using the phones, all the carriers, and anyone and everyone who is paying the bill.

You can argue that the feds have no business regulating intra-state phone calls. It's been at least 70 years since the feds started regulating the phone system. I'd be surprised if the courts haven't ruled on federal regulation of purely intra-state phone calls yet.

Re:Congress isn't allowed to do this... (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685329)

Actually, if it isn't authorized to Congress, then it is prohibited. Read the 10th Amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

And when the Interstate Commerce Clause was written, the phrase "to regulate" actually meant "to make regular". If you remember one of the primary reasons for the Constitution being authored in the first place was to deal with interstate squabbling, trade wars, and insane currency exchange rates. Therefore the Interstate Commerce Clause doesn't exactly mean what most people now think it means.

Dooes this promote general welfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685227)

Under section 8:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;


They could argue this could fall under "general welfare".

Re:Dooes this promote general welfare? (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685361)

Possibly, but I would hope that a court would have enough integrity to reject that idea.

Wire fraud? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685143)

Makes sense. It is surely fraudulent to make false claims.

Consent (1)

akkarin (1117245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685145)

What if it's a practical joke with a close friend? Or, if a Caller ID is spoofed, and both parties (the caller, who is faking the caller ID, and and receiver) both know, and are ok, with the it? What about the owners of PBXs used to fake ID?Do they get a 'safe-harbour'?

It happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685153)

The way the Telco does callerid is embarassing in some areas. I installed a phone system in a bank and mistyped the outgoing DID and the number appeared with the name of Local Pizza joint instead of the bank. So while I sent out an invalid number the Telco put the name on. The Telco shouldn't accept incorrect numbers and this wouldn't be an issue. And they do have the ability to block them if they are coming over a circuit that does not have that number assigned

That's kinda funny... (3, Interesting)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685155)

Well, around here the police department spoofs their caller ID info. Any time you get a call from anyone at the police station downtown, it only shows four zeros as the caller ID. It is different from when it says ID unavailable.

Re:That's kinda funny... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685607)

So, why do you get so many calls from the Police? ;)

It's probably their main number (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685671)

(xxx)xxx-0000 is probably the number on their trunk line.

Okay, what about calling cards? (3, Interesting)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685165)

My parents insist on using a calling card. When they call me, what comes up in my caller ID is the city where whatever bank they got sorted through is located. For instance, my caller ID will show some 1-800 number and say "MONTGOMERY, AL" or some such city. Would this fall under spoofing?

Re:Okay, what about calling cards? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685835)

In a word, no [answers.com] .

Fines in America - just can't figure it out (5, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685167)

I don't get why in America we can't figure out that fines only work when the penalty is commensurate with the infraction. If you want fines to work, you have to do what they do in Scandinavian countries - charge a percentage of your income. What is a $500 parking ticket for a billionaire? But $500 will ruin your life if you work for minimum wage. It's not fair, it's not just, and it doesn't work.

Fines for corporations should certainly have a minimum value, but they should have NO upper ceiling. When companies like Microsoft or Phillip Morris or ExxonMobil are fined $200 million dollars - as most of them have been - they don't even blink. It's completely useless. The law in America in this regard is completely idiotic in this regard.

Re:Fines in America - just can't figure it out (1)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685199)

The law in America in this regard is completely idiotic.
Fixed that for you.

Re:Fines in America - just can't figure it out (3, Interesting)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685393)

So fines against people don't have a minimum but fines against companies do? What if your $1M minimum fine puts 10 people out of work because the company goes under? Either using a sliding scale or don't; let's not make up silly rules based on angst against "evil corporations".

Re:Fines in America - just can't figure it out (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685683)

Fines based on income are silly, as most rich folks don't ``make'' much money. Their taxable income is surprisingly low---in fact, I'd imagine many billionare CEOs would qualify for welfare.

ie: consider Bloomberg with a $1 salary.

GREAT! (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685193)

Let's have the gubment passing these laws send us a check - then go and collect for damages!

The problem with these really great remedies being passed is that you and I will never see the money for damages. But when Uncle Sam can siphon some cash - Guess what'll happen.

My Other Me (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685195)

If I send my landline phone# from my mobile phone, is that "illegal spoofing"?

Re:My Other Me (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685497)

If I send my landline phone# from my mobile phone, is that "illegal spoofing"?
Only if your landline phone number is 202-456-1414.

All For It (3, Funny)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685209)

Good, now I'll stop getting cold calls from "caller unknown". If my phone displays "caller unknown", I just made $10k.

Re:All For It (2, Informative)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685857)

Informative? Hah.

No, intentionally blocking is not forging caller ID. If your phone displays "Caller Unknown", you just made $0

Actually, nothing happened (5, Informative)

gruntled (107194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685257)

So I'm actually reading the legislative action on this bill (through Thomas, provided by the link), and it doesn't appear as though there's been any kind of a vote on this. Am I, you know, missing something? Or does somebody not understand that a bill actually has to be voted on by each full chamber (both the House and the Senate) in an identical format, before it can be said that "Congress" has approved anything?

Re:Actually, nothing happened (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685685)

Yes, indeed, you're right. It looks like the bill hasn't made it to the full Senate yet.

I'd be curious to hear from the OP about this. Where do you see this as having passed Congress? I'm not seeing it, but perhaps I'm missing it. Please provide clarification.

Politics and Business (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685271)

except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total of $1,000,000 for any single act or failure to act.
Sounds like a gem in the resume for politicians come election day, and a way for big telemarketing firms to outlive smaller ones. (I wonder who the lobbying groups behind this one were...)

You insensitive clod! I don't have CallerID! (2, Interesting)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685291)

I don't have caller ID! Why would I? If I don't want to answer the phone, I don't. (Actually, my wife probably will answer it anyhow, she is kind of type-A that way. But still, I have no problem putting undesirable callers on hold "forever", I am kind of an A-Hole, that way.)


I have saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars over the years for a feature I could have used maybe, once or twice.


Seems like a bargain to me.


Sheesh, you don't have to buy product offered to you.


I am not a technophobe, I have two land lines and four cell phones. The Cell phones come with caller ID "for free".

Re:You insensitive clod! I don't have CallerID! (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685405)

True enough, I suppose ... but given that most phone companies bundle services you often end up with Caller ID whether you want it or not.

Do what I do... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685715)

I dunno, I guess I just never cared who was calling. But here is a great excuse to explore the spelling of the word for one who does not tell the truth...

Currently, either I'd answer the phone, or I wouldn't, depending on my mood.

Under current law, if I had callerID, either I'd answer the phone, or I wouldn't, depending on my mood.

Under the new law, if I had callerID, and callers weren't allowed to lie about being criminal liars, I'd have to make a decision about answering the phone, even though the callerID might be lying to me anyhow. I guess I would just revert to my previous, pre-callerID rules, and either I'd answer the phone, or I wouldn't, depending on my mood.

skypeout data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19685427)

So will it be illegal to use skypeout to call someone and not tell skype your real phone number?

(what does skype show anyway on callerid?)

Don't worry! (0, Troll)

lord_mike (567148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685509)

The Supreme Court will be sure to strike this law down, too...

They are big on that nowadays...

Thanks,

Mike

for the thrifty cheater (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685539)

'The amount of the forfeiture penalty (...) shall not exceed $10,000 for each violation, or 3 times that amount for each day of a continuing violation
get all your call spoofing done in one day to maximise value!

I never answer the phone... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19685633)

That is what the answering machine is for. Ever since junk calls became prolific years ago, everybody I know got an answering machine and when we call each other, we just leave messages. There is almost no interactive phone chatting going on.
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