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FTC Awards $50k In Prizes To Cut Off Exasperating Robocalls 216

coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today said it picked two winners out of nearly 800 entries for its $50,000 Robocall Challenge which dared technologists to come up with an innovative way of blocking the mostly illegal but abundant calls. According to the FTC, Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss will each receive $25,000 for their proposals, which both use software to intercept and filter out illegal prerecorded calls using technology to 'blacklist' robocaller phone numbers and 'whitelist' numbers associated with acceptable incoming calls." Can't wait until Symantec, Kaspersky, etc. sell competing anti-spammer packages for phones.
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FTC Awards $50k In Prizes To Cut Off Exasperating Robocalls

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  • I know ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @12:55PM (#43338941) Homepage

    Offer $1k for the heads of anybody who runs one of these organizations. ;-)

    It's gotten to the point where pretty much any unknown caller either gets hung up on immediately, or told to PFO since I can't believe they are who they claim to be.

    If I actually have any business interest with you, send it to me in snail mail, because I no longer trust incoming calls -- between the fake tech support, notification I've won a cruise, or someone offering to lower my credit card interest but who has no idea of who I am, the vast majority of calls I receive are clearly fraudulent and coming from another country.

  • by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @12:59PM (#43339005)

    (x) it doesn't make the return from doing illegal activities negative
    (x) it doesn't make the people who deserve to go to prison go to prison

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @01:01PM (#43339043) Journal

    Hire some investigators to wait by the phone for a robocall. When they get one, play along. While they play along, collect evidence. When you have enough evidence, arrest the perp and send him to prison.

    Is this a trick question?

  • Re:Worthless... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @01:05PM (#43339101)

    Mod Plus a billion! Why the hell does number spoofing still work? Something is very broken in a system which allows this.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @01:14PM (#43339243)

    ...follow the money trail and file a RICO suit against EVERYONE involved in the money trail, especially managers and executives or anyone else who would have "created a climate accepting of working with illegal businesses".

    Perp walk those fuckers on national news, naming names and home towns.

    If we ratchet up the fear factor high enough, nobody will work with these assholes anymore, and if you can't collect money what's the point? Sure, some politically minded assholes will still robocall ("Stop Obama!", "Legalize Gay Marriage", etc), but if it doesn't make any money, nobody will do it.

    There's a big chunk of the "legitimate" economy at work here to keep these guys going -- if we take away their 2% take and make sure some of them do 20 in Lewisberg while desperately holding the soap then this will dampen the urge to dabble at the fringes of the economy.

  • Re:I know ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @03:27PM (#43341011)

    Pretty much all of these 'problems' can be solved by the caller leaving a message. A delay of a few seconds, even a minute or two, before I check VM is not going to make a difference.

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