Saturday, February 5, 2011

Got Your # On My Wall

The Republican controlled Senate appears determined to pass legislation that would make it illegal for a person to alter their caller identification with the intent to defraud or harass the recipient of a call.
Republican Sen. Lee Zeldin introduced the bill (SB 2909) on Thursday, and unlike thousands of other bills in the chamber, it has already been scheduled for a committee meeting. On Tuesday the Senate Consumer Protection Committee will address the bill, which was introduced in the senate last year and never was put on a committee agenda.
An Assembly version (AB 52) from Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, has already moved through the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection committee and is likely to cruise through the chamber, where it has previously been passed.
The bill seems like an intrusion that Republicans would never want to get involved in, as it limits personal freedom, but apparently they're opposed to "spoofing."
What's "spoofing" you ask? Well in the bill's justification, it is described this way:
Spoofing occurs when a person intentionally alters caller identification information to mask the true identity of the caller. The minimum effect is that the end user is deceived - the person making the call is not the person identified on the screen -and the person identified on the screen is "spoofed." This means that the person being spoofed has had caller identification information - his identity, in essence - intentionally misappropriated by the caller to achieve an end.

The bill alleges that telemarketers use this technique to encourage people to pick up the phone, as they're more likely to pick up when a call is identified as a local number.
But it's not only the recipients of calls who are harmed as people whose numbers are misrepresented could become the recipient of angry phone calls at any hour of the day from people who have received calls that seemingly were placed by the person being spoofed, but were actually placed by someone else.
Kind of hard to imagine who opposed this bill in the past. Big Stalker?

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