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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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  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Afforess ( 1310263 ) <afforess@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:24PM (#31514608) Journal
    If I spoofed my caller ID, how would they ever know without wiretapping me, or doing something else illegal? How would anyone ever get caught? This law seems unenforceable.
  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:29PM (#31514704) Homepage

    hmm.. slashdot ate some of the comment text there... guess i should have read the preview more closely.

    Should read:
    Phone rings: caller ID says Joe (your last name).
    Pick up phone: "Hello Mr (your last name), I'm from X Company, and we want you to have one of our fine credit cards."
    Call and report X Company.

  • Simple solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:35PM (#31514794)

    Telemarketers will call from another state and use a PSTN gateway in yet another state/country. All this does is move telemarketing jobs out of a state that badly needs any jobs it can get.

  • Collection Company's (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ironicsky ( 569792 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:37PM (#31514830) Journal
    This will put a hick up in collection company's practices since they do it all the time. I wonder how it will affect call centers since call centers normally spoof the caller ID to match the company they are calling on behalf of.
  • Re:Better yet. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nwf ( 25607 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:45PM (#31514942)

    They could just force ANI and drop CID, so it's not an issue.

    Except one can spoof ANI as well. On purely digital networks, you have to tell the system what number you are calling from, since it wouldn't otherwise know. Some carriers enforce a rule that your outgoing CID and ANI must be a number which you own, but not all do. If you have multiple carriers, they really can't do this effectively, since they don't know what numbers you terminate.

    Plus toll free numbers aren't really on the same level as regular ones, since they are ALL redirected via the SMS 800 system to do all sorts of things, including routing based on time of day and originating location. They can also be forwarded to a "local" number or numbers, but they don't have to. Basically, all you could enforce from this law is to make sure people don't set CID to a number which is obviously not theirs, but finding who they really are is hard. I've called by phone company wanting to get call log info and they claim they don't even save it for other than outgoing long distance calls.

  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:39PM (#31516550) Homepage

    The companies who spoof are generally doing stuff that should be illegal anyway, right?

    I "spoof". I purchase my incoming and outgoing service separately and from different vendors. I use different caller ID identification based on whom I am calling (one number for personal calls, another for business calls). They are both numbers that belong to me but there is no particular connection between that number and the "line" I am using to place the call.

    I also forward calls from certain people to my mobile phone when I am not at my desk. In that case I am effectively placing a call to my mobile number, spoofing the CID to be that of the original caller, so I can see whether I want to answer it.

    I would be very sad if I could no longer do these things, as they make my life a lot easier.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @06:56PM (#31516702)
    So how would this apply (if it does) to Google Voice? (and no, GV is not VoIP!) For example, I use GV on my Droid. I used to be on AT&T and I was able to move to Verizon with no "porting fee" or any of that crap because I use GV and had already gotten everyone to dial that number. My physical cell number is not given out. When I make a call, it uses GV and gives out that number. Seems like it must be "spoofing" at some point (although if I use the web page instead of the app it doesn't spoof because it calls both parties). I'd hate to see such a valuable and useful tool be hamstrung by a law intended to stop phone spammers.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.