Now that we live in an age of caller id, no-call lists and bottomless voicemailboxes, it’s pretty safe to declare that telephony has jumped the shark. At least the landline kind has. Jenn and I have even gone so far as to debate dropping the phone company for a discount provider, IP telephony provider or just going full-on cellular for all our phone needs.
Now I’ve read, via Leo Laporte (who got his news from Slashdot) that reformed hacker Kevin Mitnick is back to his sly ways. The former phone phreaker has got himself a new company, *38 (Star Thirty Eight) that lets you, the humble dialer, spoof the telephone number that appears on the caller ID unit of the party you are dialing. Ingenious for bill collectors and other less scrupulous folks who want to circumvent having “private”, “unknown” or “blocked” appear on their target’s phone.
Consumers beware. You can bet your bippy that phone marketers will be all over this like flies on shit.
Technology is agnostic, so I suppose there could be uses for this service, like surprising Mom on her birthday. Still, the evil implications of such a system will likely land a Baby Bell or some India-based phonebank in trouble with either the law or a consumer watchdog group.
You have been warned. End transmission.