Caller ID Spoofing Will Soon Be Illegal

Caller ID spoofing is rather easy to do for anyone who is willing to make the effort and apps to make it even easier. It’s akin to forging the “From:” header in an email. Both of these standards were developed in a time and environment where malicious use wasn’t a concern. Today obviously that’s hardly the case.

Now the House passed the “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2010“, which makes it illegal to spoof Caller ID information “with the intent to defraud and deceive”. Blocking is explicitly still allowed.

It covers any technology, not just POTS meaning that VoIP technologies are impacted. In theory even a poorly chosen Skype username (or whatever service you’re using) would technically be illegal. So don’t call yourself “HotChick69” if you can’t prove that it is accurate in court. “With the intent to defraud and deceive” suggests that Google Voice can still spoof Caller ID for the purpose of showing the original number it’s forwarding for, but I’m sure their lawyers are examining things closely.

It reminds me of the “CAN-SPAM Act of 2003”, which has been <sarcasm>extremely effective</sarcasm>. I’m sure nobody will ever spoof Caller ID again.

That said, this is why one should be concerned about services that recognize the phone number your dialing from and let you bypass security measures. Always use a pin.

2 thoughts on “Caller ID Spoofing Will Soon Be Illegal

  1. “which has been extremely effective. I’m sure nobody will ever spoof Caller ID again.”

    Rather flamboyantly missing the point there, I think.

    The purpose of this law is not to PREVENT people from spoofing, but to provide a LEGAL RECOURSE so that WHEN those festering scum sucking sacks of feces are caught, they can be charged with a federal crime.

    Unlike spammers, most people who use spoofing do not implement the technology themselves, they subscribe to services provided by a small handful of companies. Giving law enforcement a way to go after the providers of the services is a good thing.

    The Can-Spam act was an utter joke because of the powerful lobbying of advertising and marketing powerhouses. No sane person is going to lobby to protect the interests of sociopathic radio prank jockeys and psycho stalker exes. There’s no multibillion dollar industry at stake here, just a few fly-by-night companies set up by folks with no ethics for the express purpose of enabling crime.

  2. @Weaselspleen: it’s always been wire fraud. Legal recourse actually existed, in fact more generic laws that were easier to apply already existed. The goal for this law was to reduce the occurrence.

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