Marchbooks' Blog

April 15, 2009

Who’s Protecting Us – Janus Kane

Filed under: In the News — marchbooks @ 10:13 pm
Tags: , , ,

On the news the other night, there was a short segment on Caller-ID Spoofing. I had never heard of it. For those of you in the same boat, I’ll paraphrase based on my interpretation. Apparently, there are now companies on the internet that offer an interesting new service. It is called spoofing and it allows the user to make a call that shows up on the recipient’s caller-id as having been placed from another source.

My understanding is that it works like this; you log into one of these services and pay, then you enter the number you would like to call followed by the number that you would like to show up on their caller-id (it seems that this could be anything from your favorite actor to the IRS), there is also a feature that allows callers to mask their voice so that a man can sound like a woman or visa versa.

I think it comes as little surprise that this new technology is being utilized in a nefarious way. Callers are representing themselves as reputable businesses in order to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting people. Yet another caution for anyone trying to protect themselves against identity theft.

It is not the idea of this that surprises me. Technology is moving at lightning speed and man’s ability to utilize this technology to bilk their neighbors out of a buck never ceases to astound me. What does amaze me is this – apparently, only one state has chosen to make this practice illegal. According to this news program, other states were holding back on legislating against this practice at all whereas some wanted to limit their legislation to usage that was meant to defraud.

Hmmmmm, maybe I am missing something, but what other application could this have? I had to check to confirm it, but true to my recollection, the definition of spoof is to deceive.

I try not to form party affiliations. Liberal, conservative, middle of the road, I try to judge each issue on its merits rather than on where it falls in the party line. But, in this instance, I am afraid that I will come down squarely in the conservative camp. When is our government going to start exhibiting a greater level of care for the average, law-abiding citizen than it does for the criminal?

This seems to be yet another example of government doing back bends in an attempt to protect those who should not be protected. 
When are we going to stop protecting criminal behavior? If you took the time to watch the above video, you will see argument for the one possible acceptable use of this service; for those in battered women’s shelters. That seems to be an odd, double-edged sword to me. I would have to believe that there are more abusive husbands making use of this technology than battered wives. Furthermore, there are other ways of disguising your location or identity (such as prepaid cell phones) without doing it fraudulently. In any case, it seems that the legislature could handle this situation with an exclusion of some sort rather than just ignoring the problem. With millions of cases of identity theft, does it really make sense not to address this situation head on?

The bottom line is that this is a service that is based on deceit and has fraud built into its very nature. The fact that our legislative body has to even debate whether this activity should be made illegal is cause for concern. I think it should make us wonder how far off course our moral compass has fallen. Technology is a wonderful thing, but if we are going to sit back and let it rule our lives and dictate our morals, we are in for a bumpy ride my friends.



The Little Insanity

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