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Spoof Me, Please!

VoIPSA laments the rise of caller ID spoofing, and points to two services that allow you to essentially be any caller ID you want: Fake Caller, and Telespoof.  Fake Caller is nothing more than a technology demo, but Telespoof purports to be a real business targeting law enforcement, private investigators, and the like.

Aside from the dubious legality of these businesses, are there any circumstances where you might want to spoof a caller ID? The answer is yes. 

Today’s telecom network assumes that identity and caller ID are identical, when in fact, they’re not.  Many of us have multiple phone numbers, and many of us have at least one shared phone number.  Identity and caller ID are not fungible, although the phone network treats them that way.

Customers of one-number services run up against this all the time.  The correct caller ID to display when making a phone call is the single reach number, and not the number of the physical terminal you’re calling from.  Grand Central solves this problem by initiating phone calls from a web page, but a better solution would be an identity mechanism in the network tied to the user of the phone, rather than phone itself.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Aswath October 2, 2006, 9:59 am

    You are right that caller's identity and the line ID (commonly, but erroneously called Caller ID) are not fungible. Indeed the relevant protocols allow for carrying the former and a way to identify whether the service provider has verified this information or not. The first problem is that the incumbents (or is it device vendors?) do not deliver that information to the users. The second problem is that with the current technology, it is not easy to deliver the custome information to the service provider, in the first place. Hence we have to depend on external means like a web page.

    But then you knew all that. :-)

  • spadez April 3, 2007, 10:49 pm

    yo uze are nuts all u gotta do is dial a # then they ask who u wanna call and where u wanna cal from thats it

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