Senate Committee Votes To Ban Caller ID Spoofing

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology has voted to outlaw caller ID spoofing. The measure, S. 704, would make it illegal to “to cause any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information.” Companion legislation sailed through the House earlier this month, giving the measure an excellent chance of becoming law. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) said the legislation was necessary to prevent false information from clogging up the tubes:

“Caller ID provides critical information to those who rely on it. However when this technology is used to deceive people it can endanger personal privacy and safety. This bill will help strengthen the ability of the FCC and states to combat these nefarious practices.”

The legislation would not prevent caller ID blocking, allowing people to stay hidden behind the veil of “private” numbers. Unlike the House version, the Senate measure provides penalties of $10,000 for each violation, though in limited circumstances the penalties could reach $1 million. Both measures allow police officers and those with permission from a court to spoof their caller ID to read Ted Stevens.

Caller ID spoofing about to be outlawed [Ars Technica]
S. 704 – Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007 [THOMAS]
H.R. 251 [THOMAS]
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(Photo: Lazy_Lightning)

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  1. banned says:

    Looks like I’ll have to find a new way to stalk all my exes :p

  2. mulletmandan says:

    Great! Awhile back I had a telemarketing company repeatedly call me on my cell phone while I was at work to harass me about “something I had won.” Every time I asked for a supervisor or asked to be taken off of the calling list, they’d hang up on me and call back the next day. They were spoofing their caller ID to say an obviously fake number (like 1-888-888-8888) so I couldn’t call them back. Finally I threatened to call the BBB or FCC on them and they stopped calling. A ban such as this would make their actions illegal.

  3. Thrust says:

    Gods damn it to the abyss motherfarking pisscrap donkey farts SHIT!
    The USA gets ANOTHER great blow against teleharrasment while Canada still gets f’all. I want some Cthulhu-damned Do-Not-Call-List action up here in Canada or I’ma gonna shoot my friggin phone!

    Used to have call display. Then Telus sold call-blocking service so tele-tards could hide behind a private number. THEN Telus started selling Call-Revealer to unblock blocked numbers. That was the last straw, and I canceled my call display service. The CSA on the line didn’t understand why I was so pissed, so I told her “You sell me a service, then sell a way around it to the very people this service is to protect me from. NOW you’re trying to charge another service fee to make my original service work. And I bet in one week you’ll sell the telemarketers on Call-Revealer-Blocker”. From there, things got vulgar…

    But I WAS wrong. It took em five weeks before they started selling Revealer-Blocker.

  4. Slytherin says:

    Great! I guess no more prank phone calls for me and my friends on a drunken Saturday night.

  5. gershinator says:

    You know this is going to be tacked on to a bill to legalize marijuana and this is going to fall short of becoming a law.

    Damn I love the USA.

  6. TPK says:

    Interesting… I know the NY Times’ phone system broadcasts 111-111-1111. I wonder if they will change it if this goes into effect?

  7. fiezgund says:

    Nice to know. The Army recruiters have been calling from a “DEPT OF EDU” number. Can’t hide anymore!! HAHA I just wish that they’d stop calling.

  8. Thrust says:

    SHIT DUDE, DON’T PICK IT UP, it’s Ted Stevens!

  9. nequam says:

    @Thrust: No do-not-call registry in the Great White North? That really sucks. Your phone must ring off the hook.

  10. Thrust says:

    @nequam: Oh my dark and terrible gods… you have NO IDEA.

    My previous phone number was a fax line before it was given to us as a residential… ALL NIGHT LONG it rang, but since the fax’s modem never connected, it would redial at least 5 times. And you couldn’t CALL them to tell em to fuck off since you would just be calling to a fax machine. So in the daytime we had NON-STOP telemarketers, surveys, etc, and at night it was fax Cinqo de Mayo.

  11. EastBayAnt says:

    I wonder how this affects services such as Skype. When I call a cell phone or landline, the caller ID shows the caller’s number as 0000123456.

  12. erica.blog says:

    Cool. When one political party was endlessly harassing us with attempts to convince us to vote for a certain candidate last fall, they were spoofing their caller ID so it was coming from 000-000-0000. So I could never figure out how to call them back and tell them to STOP CALLING US WE REALLY DON’T CARE. Whether it was that party, or the other party pretending to be rude to make us less likely to like that party, or what — it would have been nice to know who it was, and not to pick up calls from that number.

  13. TVarmy says:

    I have a feeling this could mess up a lot of web 2.0 telephony things. Grand Central probably could have added a bunch of features with Caller ID spoofing. :(

  14. Tink1980 says:

    If you read the bill, it will only make it a crime if you spoof with intent to defraud or cause harm. So if you are not already committing a crime while using a spoofing service(credit card fraud, harassment, threatening someone)you’re fine. Messing with your friends will still be perfectly legal. It’ll probably also make it easier to get info, or get more info, from the spoofing companies when someone is doing illegal stuff.