Remember Caller ID Spoofing, the famous allegation against Paris Hilton for hacking into Lohan’s Voice-Mail . Caller ID spoofing is the act of changing the Original Caller ID of the user with a different user/fake number. This is one of best technology innovation for spammers and telemarketing folks. Congress has passed the “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2010” , which will make it illegal to use Caller ID spoofing with the intent to defraud or deceive. The change will affect any real time voice communications service, regardless of the technology or network utilized. VoIP calls are not immune to this law. It applies to all types of technology( legacy, IP etc )
Some info from the act:
‘‘ IN GENERAL.—It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, in connection with any real time voice communications service, regardless of the technology or network utilized, to cause any caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, with the intent to defraud or
The act however has some provisions, which can be used by legitimate companies to change the Caller ID for different services. For e.g, Skype, Google Voice and bunch of other Voice 2.0 companies use Caller ID spoofing as a way to provide innovative features. They may still continue to provide such services as long as the intention of changing the Caller ID is not to cheat or deceive.
• Phone Gangster
Interesting, here is what phone gangster has to say about Caller ID Spoofing:
What is Caller ID Spoofing?
Phone Gangster allows you to fake the caller id when calling another party. Upon calling a person, you will get to choose what number you want to appear as. Best of all, there is no way the party can find out what phone number the call originated from because their phone records will display the altered number. Our service is not only fun and useful, but it is legal as well. We have tested and confirmed our caller id spoofing service works in the USA and Canada. Purchase an instant phone card from us today!
I guess the legal claim needs to be revisted and the fun part is debatable based on this news
There are Legitimate use of Caller ID spoof, and some of them listed below( courtesy: Wiki):
• Commercial answering-service bureaus which forward calls back out to a subscriber's cell phone, when both parties would prefer the CNID to display the original caller's information.
• Most calling-card companies display the Caller ID of the calling-card user to the called party.
• Business owners have been known to use Caller ID spoofing to display their business number on the Caller ID display when calling from outside the office (for example, on a mobile phone).
• Skype users can assign a Caller ID number in order to prevent their Skype-Out calls being screened by the called party (the default Skype Caller ID in the USA is 000123456).
• Google Voice displays its users' Google Voice number when they place calls through the service using their landline or cell phone.