Spoofing — the practice of sending out fake caller ID information to disguise the caller’s real identity — is legal, so long as it’s not done to deceive or harm anyone. Reporters, victims of domestic abuse, human rights organizations, all legally use spoofing to protect their locations or sources. This sort of trickery is definitely not allowed when it’s deployed just to make harassing phone calls to your ex. [More]
Spoofing phone numbers — the practice of making it appear to the caller ID system that you’re calling from a different number — is not illegal, so long as the spoofing is not done to commit fraud or otherwise perpetrate a crime. But even when the intent of the spoofing crosses the legal line, does the company providing the spoofing service bear any culpability? [More]
By now, you’ve probably heard that Fitbit has issued a recall for its Force wristbands, which caused mysterious and painful contact dermatitis in 1.7% of users. It’s a voluntary recall, and many customers who haven’t experienced any skin rashes are wondering whether they can keep their wristbands if they really like them. The short answer: yes. [More]
At some point in your life, you’ve probably received a call where the name and/or number that showed up on caller ID was not the actual name/number of the caller. It’s known as spoofing, and many people assume it’s illegal. Those people would be wrong. [More]
Who is Anthony Clark? Steve doesn’t know him, but for some reason, that’s what the Caller ID on his mobile phone says when he places calls. His clients don’t know who Anthony is, so they won’t pick up the phone when his name on Caller ID. Virgin Mobile doesn’t know how the name got there, who Anthony is, or how to make him go away. [More]
Probably should have thought that one through.
AT&T has raised the price of call waiting, call forwarding, and caller ID by $1.01 per month for all California customers that do not subscribe to a service bundle. This marks AT&T’s second rate hike since the California Public Utilities Commission stopped regulating phone rates last summer in the name of “promoting competition.” AT&T is not hesitant to admit that the rate increases are designed to prod consumers into signing up for bundled phone and internet packages:
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:
Google Voice Local Search has emerged from the Google Labs to provide free directory assistance. A call to 1-800-GOOG-411 connects you to a pleasant automated operator who asks for your city and state. From there, you can narrow your search by business or category. When Google finds your business, it offers to either connect you for free, or text the details to your phone. The service does not currently support ads.