•   over 10 years ago

Free Suggestion to a US Citizen

I'm not a US citizen, so I'm not eligible to enter the competition. However there is a fairly simple technical solution to who ever wants the cash:

1. You internally extend the number space for all phone numbers by 4-6 digits (i.e. you pretend that phone numbers are 4-6 digits longer).
2. These 4-6 digits are effectively a PIN, which the end user can enter via a phone command (much like entering a redirect number etc).
3. When a person dials a given phone number (XXX) XXXX-XXXX for real, they now dial (XXX) XXXX-XXXX AAAAA
4. The call is then processed according to the new 'virtual' phone number that is entered by the real person that is calling.

In effect, the system creates a user alterable phone number allowing the end user to distinguish between real persons, and unsolicited calls. The PIN can be changed at any time if the original becomes compromised.

The end user can decided to ignore, respond with no such number, or to have silent ring (or any other options such as logging, voice response) to calls without the PIN.


  •   •   over 10 years ago

    wow, Love it. You are the man. I'll submit it for you if you like.

  •   •   over 10 years ago

    Feel free to ask for clarifications here, hard to cover all the information in one short post.

  •   •   over 10 years ago

    This solution presents some problems:
    1) For anyone that uses a speed dialer, it is likely that the hardware will have to be replaced to allow for dialing additional digits.

    2) This system would make all phone numbers effectively be unlisted numbers. Not everyone wants an unlisted number.

    3) Since the PIN can be changed at any time, how is it possible to maintain a reverse 911 telephone number database. This is important to provide hurricane and other disaster warnings. If you change your PIN, how do you make sure everyone is notified (This includes your credit card companies who sometimes call to inquire about a suspicious transaction)

    4) The objective is to stop the illegal robocallers with minimum or no impact to legitimate callers.

    I believe the real solution must first begin with mandating that the telcos make the necessary modifications to their infrastructure to make caller ID spoofing impossible. Maybe each telephone needs the equivalent of an Internet SSL authentication scheme.

  •   •   over 10 years ago

    1. Given the system would be entirely optional, and the intent is to stop machine based dialing - this is acceptable in my opinion.
    2. Incorrect - the original phone number would still work, however the recipient would be able to determine a distinct method of dealing with such calls (e.g. by silent ringing). Newer handsets could even put schedules on when to ignore such calls.
    3a. Given the telephone system itself knows the actual phone number, and the originating number of a caller doesn't change (only the dialing number) - the reverse directory would not be affected in any way.
    3b. Again - given the intent is NOT to stop calls, but rather to allow the recipient to distinguish the type of call, this is still not an issue.
    4. Mission accomplished, this system ADDS to, does not remove any existing ability. It merely enhances the information provided to the recipient of the caller to allow distinction between real person calls, and other calls. The distinction between the two is entirely in the hands of the recipient.

  •   •   over 10 years ago

    Im not sure, but digits en excess will be stripped of by the terminating switch if transferred at all. They are only kept for PBXes with direct-inward-dialing (DID).

    Thell me if Im wrong her please

  •   •   over 10 years ago

    I can only speak for what I know of the Australian system, the signalling is all digital and separate to the channel (CCS7 is what I remember it as). It is therefore extensible.

    If the US system is still using analogue style (E&M or interrupt based) signalling, then the changes would be more difficult.

    In essence part 1 of the process is to extend that numbering base. Also the primary goal seems to be to protect individual (residential) telephony.

  • Manager   •   over 10 years ago

    Hi all,

    Please keep in mind the following, per the Official Rules:

    "(iii) By entering a Submission, Contestant represents, warrants, and agrees that the Submission is the original work of the Contestant and complies with the Official Rules.

    Contestant further represents, warrants, and agrees that any use of the Submission by the Sponsor, Administrator, and/or Judges (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries, and affiliates) as authorized by these Official Rules, shall not:

    a. infringe upon, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property right or proprietary right including, without limitation, any statutory or common law trademark, copyright or patent, nor any privacy rights, nor any other rights of any person or entity;"

    Thank you.


  •   •   over 10 years ago

    Christopher B wrote:
    > In essence part 1 of the process is to extend that numbering
    > base. Also the primary goal seems to be to protect individual
    > (residential) telephony.

    Since the us has 3+7 digit fixed numbering it is unlikely that legacy systems will changed to allow postfix dialing.
    However, there is a chance if regulators make it mandatory.

    On other solution might be to handle this as an inband signaling with MFC or other audio based methods. The bad thing with that of course is, that we need an open forward channel or to answer the call beforehand to allow audio / inband transmission. This would also allow signatures / crypto tokens to be transferred.
    The disadvantage is that this needs quite some technology in terminating endpoints.


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