ID spoofing has been a popular practice for many years in the U.S.
Many have a form of caller identification and use it to screen their
calls. Much like email spoofing, caller ID spoofing causes the
message to look like it originated from someone other than the real
sender.Many businesses offer spoofing service either online
or via the phone. Among the legitimate uses of spoofing are to
allow businesses IDs to appear when owners are making calls from
outside phones (such as a home phone) and to allow businesses to
replace the calling number with the appropriate callback number.
Private investigators and collections agencies often use spoof as
well, in a more questionable manner.Spoofing has also been
used by criminals to steal money from victims by tricking them into
revealing personal information. Last year a ring of crooks
stole $15M USD using phone spoofing according
to Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY).After much
debate, the House has passed the bill Truth
in Caller ID Act of 2010" [PDF], H.R. 1258, an amendment to
the Communications Bill of 1934. The bill effectively bans
caller spoofing in the U.S. The Senate already passed a similar
bill in February, so President Obama should soon sign the Act into
law.The bill makes it illegal "to cause any caller ID
service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information,
with the intent to defraud and deceive."It applies to
both land lines and voice-over-IP networks (VoIP) and any other "real
time voice communications service, regardless of the technology or
network utilized."Under the bill, you can still block
your own outgoing caller ID information. But trying to modify
it may result in criminal and civil penalties, assuming it can be proven that you intended to "defraud and deceive". Businesses may be exempt, assuming they're using spoofing for legitimate purposes as outlined above and not suspect practices like stealth telemarketing.
Civil prosecution generally carries a lower burden of proof, so businesses such as repossession firms may be hit with civil fine but escape criminal prosecution.
officials in the U.S. are exempt from the ban.CTIA, an
international trade group, released a statement praising the move.
It writes, "CTIA and the wireless industry support making caller
identification spoofing illegal as the applications of such an
activity are usually for malicious purposes. We appreciate the House
passing this important consumer protection measure."
quote: I wasn't aware that it was a guaranteed right that you know the number that's calling you.
quote: Well as far as "rights" go this is a gray area of the law, as there obviously were no phones when the founding fathers were formulating the Bill of Rights and principle freedoms.
quote: Its kind of a minor issue, but when some are using spoofing in scams to steal information from people, it becomes a problem.
quote: Generally laws like this are not actively enforced
quote: Exactly, good point. As you know Jason I hate redundant unenforceable laws. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a huge issue either way. I just would have preferred the reasoning behind it to be a little more solid. And I don't think we needed a new federal law/act to cover this.
quote: I agree, a far BETTER way to strengthen punishments is to revise existing laws to make them more explicit and add longer punishments to the law in certain scenarios.
quote: Law enforcement officials in the U.S. are exempt from the ban.
quote: But trying to modify it will result in criminal and civil penalties
quote: The bill makes it illegal "to cause any caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, with the intent to defraud and deceive ."
quote: It is illegal to spoof or modify the caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, with intent to defraud or deceive.
quote: Under the bill, you can still block your own outgoing caller ID information. But trying to modify it will result in criminal and civil penalties