•   about 8 years ago

OK, I will try a pass at a serious discussion

It’s hard to find a solution to a problem that you haven’t articulated, so I will try a pass at stating the problem (I will keep this simple and assume that the robocaller will use a single static CID number, at least for the duration of any one particular robocalling blast):

(1) The recipient of the call is the only one who can identify the call as an illegal robocall (as opposed to a legal robocall - for instance a message from their school), they must listen to the message in order to make that determination, and they can only see the CID number that the robocaller used.

(2) The carrier used by the recipient of the call (terminating carrier) can only see the CID number that the robocaller assigned to the call, and the carrier that connected the call to them. I will restate this because it’s important. The terminating carrier has no way to trace the call back past the carrier that connected the call to them (except possibly via a laborious legal subpoena process).

(3) The robocaller can send their calls out through one or more carriers (initiating carriers), who each in turn may send the call on by connecting with one or more carriers, who each in turn may send the call on by connecting with one or more carriers, etcetera. And the robocaller can associate their calls with a CID number from a carrier that has absolutely no relationship to the initial carrier(s) or any subsequent carrier. In fact, the CID number assigned to the calls by the robocaller may even be a completely non-existent number, like 555-555-5555.

Any discussion?

  • 4 comments

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Stewart, this is a really great discussion topic. I don't know much about how the CID and carrier initiation process works. From the sounds of it, it sounds like the phone system itself is a little bit outdated if the number from which a call is initiated is not the same as when it reaches a person.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    As such, the solution can't really rely on caller id. The phone network as we know it today was built around the idea that a secure, verifiable connection wasn't really needed. Any widespread solution that focuses are caller id will be beaten.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    I agree, as many hospitals and other health care providers use "unknown" or just the area code (e.g. "913") when they make outgoing calls for scheduling, discussing test results, etc. It would be nearly impossible to make HIPAA flexible so health care providers were shown on CID.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Your articulation is superb, though incomplete.

    There is the possible legal and constitutional ramifications of a universal call scanning system so it has to be an individual system installed in each phone and not something rolled out by the carriers and centrally operated.

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