FedGov: Protect Privacy; Prohibit Privacy

Dipping deeper into its bottomless well of unbridled hypocrisy, FedGov is forcing privacy businesses to surrender customer lists and copies of their business transactions. During a tumultuous period of alleged privacy protection wherein Congress is poised to (Gasp!) introduce new legislation to ensure private investigators cannot obtain cellular subscriber’s call records, the swastika-wavers at the FCC are demanding that privacy companies TeleSpoof and NuFone who allow customers to place calls showing spoofed info on the receiver’s caller ID device, provide our public servants with every customer name and every call they made, according to a Wired News article.

It appears the FCC’s new chief, Kevin Martin, is well acquainted with the ways of the tyrant, as the investigation (for now) seems to be focused on an abject vagueness.

A seven-page demand from the FCC’s enforcement bureau sent to one such service, called TeleSpoof, says the commission is investigating whether the site is violating the federal Communications Act by failing to send accurate “originating calling party telephone number information” on interstate calls.

Even at this early stage, it is clear that the government’s position will be one of sainted protector regurgitating of of two lines of nonsense: “There is no conceivable legitimate purpose that anyone would want to make a call pretending to be someone else” or “These privacy-seeking customers are potential terrorists bent on releasing nerve gas into a crowded football stadium.”

The article, illustrating one example of legitimacy out of probable hundreds, lays waste to the former excuse of government intervention, leaving the absurdity of the latter to invalidate itself:

TeleSpoof’s operator says he has about 600 users. Private investigators were his earliest customers, but ordinary consumers have found uses for his service as well, he says. In one case, a divorced father was able to talk to his child on Christmas by spoofing his Caller ID to slip the call past his estranged ex-wife, he says.

The nerve of this man. If it were truly important that he speak to his child, government employees would have arranged the conversation.

In any case, the unwarranted action, illegal seizure and unjustified harassment of these companies won’t be the fault of Kevin Martin, his underlings or whatever agency ultimately closes down these and scores of other legitimate businesses. Martin, like his predecessor, will claim he is only doing his job. A job that clearly includes making certain that potential dissenters enjoy no anonymity, ensuring their place as “persons of interest.”

Artus Register

A self-described "objectivist-leaning libertarian deist," Artus Register became a full fledged libertarian after the 2000 elections. An unapologetic freedom-lover, enemy of the state, trouble maker, and permanent subscriber to the "ain't a dime's worth of difference" ideology, Register enjoys few things more than illustrating the hypocrisy of the so-called "left" and "right." When not bellowing from his cyber soapbox, he enjoys Cuban tobacco, good whiskey, and better debate. He lives with his wife in the American southeast where he works as a privacy consultant.You can contact him, if you must, at minarchist[at]gmail.com.

  1. Just so you know, the FCC is not asking us to provide customers records of “every call they made.” Also, the customer mentioned told me that his daughters mother would see his Caller ID and not answer the phone, so it was very hard for him to reach his daughter. You jumped to conclusions stating that he wanted to speak to his son.

  2. From the Wired News article linked in the post:

    The FCC is demanding business records from both companies, as well as the name of every customer that has used TeleSpoof, the date they used it and the number of phone calls they made.

    If you’ll re-read you will notice the “every call” line was followed by, according to a Wired News article.

    I’m not sure it was gun-jumping, but I apologize for misrepresenting the sex of child. It has been corrected.

  3. Has anyone even bothered to read NuFone’s Terms and Conditions?

    I’ll save you the hassle: 13. NuFone reserves the right to restrict and/or terminate accounts who abuse Calling Party Number (CPN) or Automatic Number Identification (ANI) features.

    I know of two accounts NuFone has terminated – One of them being mine.

  4. The Wired article states it correctly. The “number of phone calls they made” means the amount of calls made, not the particular numbers called with the service.

  5. I don’t care which it is. I don’t want any federal agencies knowing even whether I used the service or not.

    I need communications as secure as I can get, and if this sort of service gets harassed, regulated, or driven out of business, then one option I have is no longer there.

    Fortunately, for the most part I do it myself, and many of my more secure calls get routed through other countries, and through places that I actually have control over.