Open Data

E-911 system must be updated to disallow VOIP spoofing

There have been many swattings where a psychopath calls 911 via VOIP claiming to be someone in the middle of a violent attack. The caller ID data is spoofed so the police believe the call is actually originating from the victim's house. Swatted men were killed by police in both Aurora, Colorado, and Wichita, Kansas, which doesn't say much for those police departments.

 

Calls originating from landlines are not a problem, as caller ID data is determined from the verified account. Calls originating from mobile phones depend upon the vendor, though it's usually difficult to spoof caller ID. However, VOIP is the wild west, allowing caller ID spoofing with little effort.

 

It's not acceptable for psychopaths to put others at risk in this manner. Homeland Security must work with the FCC to change the caller ID system as follows:

 

- For mobile phones, especially pre-paid / disposable ones, vendors must either require an official ID to guarantee that the person is who they say they are and use that name for caller ID or "POSSIBLE SPOOF" must be the value of the caller ID name.

 

- For all VOIP calls, "POSSIBLE SPOOF" must be the value of the caller ID name.

 

And police departments must be educated to understand that calls with "POSSIBLE SPOOF" for the caller ID name are suspect, meaning that shooting first and asking questions later is no longer acceptable policy.

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Idea No. 508