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Communications Crime United States Your Rights Online

Mississippi Makes Caller ID Spoofing Illegal 258

marklyon writes "HB 872, recently signed into law by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, makes Caller ID spoofing illegal. The law covers alterations to the caller's name, telephone number, or name and telephone number that is shown to a recipient of a call or otherwise presented to the network. The law applies to PSTN, wireless and VoIP calls. Penalties for each violation can be up to $1,000 and one year in jail. Blocking of caller identification information is still permitted."
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Mississippi Makes Caller ID Spoofing Illegal

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  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:23PM (#31514594) Journal

    There shouldn’t need to be a law for this, though. Telcos should enforce it on their own.

  • It is about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by InsaneProcessor ( 869563 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:24PM (#31514596)
    This should be a federal law.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:30PM (#31514714)

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
    More stupid politicians makings laws about things they do not understand.

    I bet they did not even know the difference between CLID and ANI.

  • How would enforcing a rule such as this enable telcos to make more money? I imagine that some of their larger customers are spoofers. And telcos are corporations. All corporations are inherently sociopathic, lacking in empathy, remorse, guilt, or any sense of right and wrong outside of "more money is right, less money is wrong."

    If someone should do something, and they don't, we make a law to force them to.

  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:34PM (#31514782) Journal

    In fact, let's just do away with prisons and sentence people to serve time in automated rape machines. Who cares about cruel or unusual punishment, these guys are spoofing telephone numbers!

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:43PM (#31514894) Journal

    How would enforcing a rule such as this enable telcos to make more money?

    It pollutes the feature? At what point is it no longer worth getting caller ID, because the numbers are not reliable enough to be worth paying to have it...

    But yeah, you have a point. The telcos really don’t have much incentive to prevent spoofing when their larger customers are doing it.

    However, here’s my take, and why it still doesn’t need to be illegal IMHO. The companies who spoof are generally doing stuff that should be illegal anyway, right? That’s why they want to hide their identity. So as I see it, if we could crack down on them for those actions, spoofing wouldn’t be the big-business issue it currently is. Then, the primary spoofers would just be pranksters, and the telcos would have good reason to prevent it again.

  • Re:Simple solution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bloopie ( 991306 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:54PM (#31515086)

    Or they'll stay in Mississippi and *gasp* display their real company name in their Caller ID!

    If a company is so slimy that it would move out of state just to avoid displaying their real name on phone calls, well . . . that's pretty slimy.

    I guess that's most telemarketers, but still.

  • Re:Simple solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:02PM (#31515236)

    Why would they do that? They can still block caller ID and they can still show any number they own. Why would they want to show someone else's phone number, and why should we let them?

  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:04PM (#31515278)
    Small question but ... what happens when all the people you know implement your philosophy? How do call somebody back when they have a policy of never picking up the phone?
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:05PM (#31515284)

    If they decided it would be worth more money for them to grind you up and feed you to pigs, they would.

    Right now you are bringing in more money than they are paying you. Hence your employment. If that wasn't the case you wouldn't be there. And if the penalty for murder was less steep, the odds of getting caught smaller, and if there was a pig food shortage - you'd be screwed.

    Read up on the tobacco industry for current examples of what I'm talking about. They kill about half a million people in the United States [] every year, and all for profit. Money.

    It should come as no surprise when a company does something less evil than that for money. The bar is set pretty high. So allowing people to spoof caller ID for cash? Mere child's play.

    OP was exactly right about corporations being sociopaths. It's probably one of the most insightful things I've ever seen on /.

  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:09PM (#31515374)
    The difference between ANI and CLID is that CLID is what gets displayed to people when their phone rings. That is where this issue begins and ends. If I go to the bank and take out a loan using stolen identity, it is illegal because the stolen identity is what I am displaying to the bank. The fact I might be carrying other, legitimate pieces of ID in my pocket is irrelevant, because I am trying to pass off false credentials as my own during the business transaction in question.
  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:29PM (#31515632)

    How does anyone ever enforce anything? You punish those you catch doing it wrong, of course.

    Further if the displayed number is one of your own, I don't see this as 'spoofing' at all. Read the law, I guess and see if they agree.

  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:54PM (#31515972) Homepage

    Because, of course, no one would ever lie about being X Company.

  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @05:55PM (#31515998) Journal

    If a telco customer can't rely on the telco for providing the proper information that the customer is paying for, then they will lose the customer to a telco who will.

    Uh, you do realize that it's not the answerer's telco that's spoofing the caller ID right? If a caller on AT&T spoofs his caller ID and I'm on Verizon, is Verizon supposed to use their psychic powers to figure out the correct ID?

    If people actually followed your logic, Verizon would intentionally spoof the caller ID of every call from its network to a competitor in hopes that everyone drops their competing phone companies. Of course, AT&T would do the same to calls to Verizon, and so on. This is an improvement?

  • by asdf7890 ( 1518587 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:07PM (#31516180)
    I'm sure a good slave works out much better value for money in the long run...
  • by anomnomnomymous ( 1321267 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:29PM (#31516416)
    They kill about half a million people in the United States every year, and all for profit. Money.

    Erm, they kill? As far as I know it's still people's own responsibility to smoke. It's not as if we're living at the start of the 1900's, where the effects of smoking weren't known.
    Do you also hold carmanufacturers responsible for the deaths of cars each year?

    Note: I'm a smoker myself. Fully aware of the risk, but still enjoying my daily cigarette. If I'd be getting cancer, I wouldn't blame the tobacco manufacturers, but my own stupid habit...
  • by Kreigaffe ( 765218 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @07:24PM (#31516938)

    Why, it's not insightful *at all*.

    Corporations are just a concept. Like a government. Or a gang. It's all the same, it's all people. People are quite able to be sociopathic, evil bastards all on their own. Don't blame the corporation, a corporation never does a damnedable thing -- it's the people running the show (or "running" the show) that do things. Blame where blame is due.

    And your tripe about the tobacco industry is garbage. Clearly you must support the 7-figure judgement against McDonald's because some fat woman spilled hot coffee on her lap (because she removed the lid while holding the cup between her legs while driving) -- they're burning people every year! EVIL CORPORATION! Oh, except, no. That's fucking stupid. You're fucking stupid. Go away.

  • by lordsid ( 629982 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:19PM (#31517850)
    That's not spoofing, it's trunking.
  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @09:31PM (#31517936) Journal

    For example my company spoofs so that patients who hit *87 or return the call go to a number where their calls will get handled rather than some internal number that might just be an outgoing only line.

    That’s a different situation, and I’m not even sure it’s considered “spoofing” or done in the same way.

    If the caller ID says who you are (your name) and gives a number at which you can be reached, that’s acceptable – if you are a representative of a certain company, the caller ID can show the company name & line, not your personal extension. That’s not fraudulent and therefore not illegal according to this law.

    In any case, the telco knows you’re doing it... and yes, the telco knows the fraudster spoofers are doing it too. They just can claim immunity if they don’t know about the (other) illegal actions of their customers... even when they probably know full well what’s going on.

    Making the spoofing illegal is a way to pin the telcos and force them to reveal who the fraudsters are, but I’d prefer a solution without adding new things to the list of stuff that’s illegal.

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @11:29PM (#31518752)

    If they didn't engineer cigarettes to be as addictive as possible with additives and adjuncts, I'd agree with you. But we both know there is an entire industry aimed at making cigarettes as addictive as possible to take away your right to choose.

    Let me ask you a question. Have you ever tried to quit? Most smokers I know have tried once or twice. What was that like?

    Still feel like you're 100% in control of your decision to smoke? If you're not, who is?

    The tobacco industry is. And since they're calling the shots to some degree, they hold some degree of the responsibility. As I see it - yes. They do in fact kill people. With malice and forethought, 100%.

"Money is the root of all money." -- the moving finger