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15 years ago
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For a long time, caller ID was the best thing that ever happened to phone users: it allowed ordinary people to select the calls they wanted and to ignore those they did not.
However, caller ID also threw a monkey wrench into some highly profitable businesses, some obvious and some not: music comapany shills, who were paid to hype the ratings of newly-released records by calling up the request lines of radio stations in major markets, found themselves out of work in short order. Some were so desperate that they submitted please for help to the digest, begging for any chance to turn on the money spigot again.
Inevitably, a solution arose: ISDN PRI lines, which are used for connections between large PBX's and Central Offices, have a weakness: the CO "trusts" the PBX to supply the calling station ID data. So, in record time, the various industries which had been threatened by Caller ID all discovered the advantages of having their own PRI lines, and started to send (number that gets answered) data in place of their real info.
Like spam, privacy in the electronic age is an arms race. The next step is to fashion an electronic butler that demands a password before it passes a call through to a human. You heard it here first.
I get those on occasion, they're telemarketers. I try to get as much information as possible but they're pretty cagey.
That said, up until a month or so ago you could spoof the CLID data on MagicJack. That was interesting.
And, indeed it does just that! We have Privacy Manager so anonymous calls do not reach our line. We have a Meridian 9516 telephone so our family of friends and relatives are announced in my name. For other "identified" callers we look at the display. If we don't recognize the caller they go to the answering machine within the 9516. Most telemarketers will not leave a message. If they do we can review the message at our convenience and erase early-on any unacceptable call.
Like all other technology the user has to take some responsibility to get the most out of the technology.
I live in the state of fruits and nuts where the lefties when nuts over the concept of Caller ID. They sued the FCC in 1995 to prevent its deployment in California. The state squandered the taxpayers money and lost.
Then, the PUC, backed by special-interest, misguided "privacy" advocates forced the LECs to make the default line option blocked calling party information. That was a real pain the first few years because of the ensuing war between hapless blockers and those who would not take their blocked calls.12 years later few Californians have default blocking. ;-)
Finally, as to PRI and phony calling parting number identification, that is an option for very few and unscrupulous users. And, so what for the few that do that? Just send them to the answering machine.
These devices have been available for years. I think the Sharper Image used to sell one. Google "call screener" and you can find a bunch.
-Gary***** Moderator's Note *****
See, I was right! ;-)
Bill Horne Temporary Moderator
(Please put [Telecom] at the end of your subject line, or I may never see your post! Thanks!)
Two potential problems with that -
We've found that most of the other blocked calls are either hangups or robots delivering a spiel - it's pretty easy to hang up on them!
Actually you can spend a little cash and obtain such a thing using Asterisk and the FXO/FXS cards from Digium.
In Stranger in a Strange Land they have a feature like this. The phone service asked for a credit card and based upon the decision of the tenant, they would either accept the call or charge the card for a certain amount.
I'm pretty sure you could get a merchant account and they'd give you the Linux API to process the cards, then tie that to Asterisk. Hmmmm, a project!
Indeed you were. That dedicated hardware is cumbersome, though.
Anyone in AT&T LEC territory can use instead network-based Privacy Manager.
Or software like IdentaFone Pro.
If the exchange is in the United States and doesn't send the CPN message into the network, that exchange is in violation of the FCC's 1995 Caller ID ruling.
Most of those are wireless calls these days. Wireless carriers do not line block wireless lines. The customer has to lead the dail string with *67 to prevent the wireless phone's Caller ID from being displayed on the receiving end.
Finally, you don't understand how the Privacy Manager works. A caller with either CPN blocked, or calling from an old PBX that doesn't have CPN capability will have their calls answered by the Privacy Manager's network node. The auto attendant gives them the option to either unblock or leave a brief message saying who they are. My phone then rings with the Privacy Manager on the line (and easily identified Caller ID from northern California). I have the option to press #1 to take the call or #2, I believe, to send them to voice mail. There may be a 3rd option to simply reject their call.
So, there is no problrm at all.
Check out AT&T's demo of Privacy Manager:
Everyone I want to to talk to knows to unblock their number before calling here as I have Anonymous Call Rejection turned on.
That's the key issue right there. A lot of cell phones used to show up as unknown. That seems to be less of an occurence these days.
While not the same thing exactly the service from Grand Central is a screener. When you call a Grand Central number it answers with the name of the party you have called. It then asks for your name which you record after a beep tone. When the called party answers the recording of who placed the call to you is played. You can decide to answer it, have it disconnected or sent to voicemail.
The service was originally open to all, but after Google bought the service it's only open via invitations, but I believe there's a web page where you can request an invitation. It's sort of the same situation while the service is in Beta it's by invitation only same as Google's gmail email service.
I'm not sure I fully agree with that.
When my mother was in the nursing home she had a phone so my sister and I could call her. No one else [had] the number.
Note that nursing home phones are explicitly forbidden to be solicited, like cell phones. Yet my mother received such calls and they were very disturbing being she was in lousy shape. (We need the proper time to call). I had to pull the phone out.
Some people suggested various devices to screen incoming calls. I must admit I greatly resented those suggestions because (1) my mother was not capable to operate such devices, (2) it was an added inconvenience for my sister and I, (3) it was an added expense, and (4) it should never had been necessary if the marketers/surveyors obeyed the law.
The 'do not call' lists are only a little more effective than a screen door on a submarine; that is, they're full of gaping holes.
Non profits are allowed to solicit, and I get tons of solicitation calls. Surveys are permitted and I get tons of those. Political calls are permitted and I get tons of those. Businesses in which you had some "prior connection" are allowed to call you.
We need:1) Stronger, permanent restrictions on unsolicited telephone calls. I don't want ten calls on election day. (Oh yes, they repeatedly called for my mother on election day after she passed on.)
2) Aggressive enforcement on violators. Many solicitors know the odds of getting actually punished for their activities is very low because it's a hard burden on consumers.3) Laws and technical blocks on false caller-ID transmissions. At a minimum, the area code and exchange of a submitted ID must be valid; and obviously 111 and 000 should be rejected.
4) A free option for consumers to block incoming calls that have no caller-ID info.
Maybe so, but we have a situation here where calls from one independent exchange NEVER show caller ID; known problem with our switch according to a contact in our (also independent) telco. John L should be able to corroborate (calls originating from 582).
Most but not all, and how many people know about *67?
I get a few of those calles from Cells, most of the time it says cellular caller, I think part of the problem is some of the older cell switches have not had their software updated to do an dip in the SS7 data base or are not allowed to, that should not happen since SS7 has been around since 1995, before I retired I modified many switches to handle in with the toll centers, one big problem I do remember was the changes that had to be made to the DMS 100 to fet it to work right and their are a lot of those around in both wire line and cellular systems.
Hard to say, I dunno anyone in Lodi. But I did once dial 411 on a pay phone there and I think I got the owner's 12 year old daughter with a local phone book. (She said she didn't have the Trumansburg book, and resumed giggling with whoever was there with her. Lodi and T'burg are about 10 miles apart.)
There's two kinds of small independent telcos, the phone geek kind and the we-never-had-this-problem-until-you-showed-up type. Empire Tel, which handles 607-582 is definitely in the latter category.
FWIW, I don't block anything, and I find no corellation at all between calls without CLID and calls from telemarketers. Perhaps it's biased here since Cornell University blocks by default on all the phones in their PBX, and they're the largest employer in the county.
I just recalled. This appears on my monthly AT&T billing. What about your monthly phone bill? ;-)
"CALLER ID SELECTIVE & COMPLETE BLOCKING: Caller ID sends your name and phone number to the person or business called. Selective Call Blocking prevents your information from being displayed for one call. Dial *67 (1167 - rotary phones) before calling. Complete Blocking keeps your information from being displayed on all of your calls except those you elect not to block. Dial *82(1182 - rotary phones) to unblock. No blocking on 911, 800 and 900 calls. Both blocking options are free."
The context of my previous message was in the context of most of us living at home.
The nursing home situation is far from the norm. Where people really need rest and quiet turning the phone off is the appropriate use of the technology.
You know that having a private number has limited value.
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