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VoIP Phishing Before Congress

There is an important post on O’Reilly’s ETel this morning by TalkPlus CTO John Todd.  It concerns the Truth in Caller ID Act currently before the United States Congress.  Specifically, the act seeks to amend the US Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the provision of “deceptive” caller ID information.  It’s remarkably unclear on what “deceptive” caller ID information is, and what constitutes “correct” caller ID information.  For instance, in the case of a call back service like Jajah, what caller ID information should be displayed?  Or, how about Skype, where there is no ANI available?  What about a one-number service, where it’s highly desirable to place the call-back number in caller ID?   These appear to be allowed through an exemption that permits call centers to perform this substitution, but what about individuals?  There’s a high degree of irony, by the way, that Congress would permit this latitude to telemarketers, after passing the very popular Do-Not-Call legislation.

One cannot argue with the sentiments of Rep. Joe Barton, who introduced the bill.  However, much more thought is required before implementing laws designed to combat VoIP phishing schemes.

John’s piece has a fairly lengthy proposal for a system to provide the assurances that Joe Barton is looking for.  He concludes:

My company is looking to provide basic funding for the construction of a nonprofit and to participate in the database, but we will only act if others are willing to minimally invest in the experiment. Please forward this message to technical or executive staff of firms that you feel have an interest in keeping their “Phone 2.0” businesses unregulated in this regard.

Count iotum in John.

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