Well, it only took about five years and three sessions of Congress to finally pass this thing in both the House and the Senate. The Senate passed their version of the bill (S. 30) on February 23rd and the House passed their version of the bill (H.R. 1258) on April 14th. All that remains now is for any differences in the two bills to be reconciled and sent to the President for a signature.
Welcome to the 111th United States Congress! On January 7th, the bill that never made it through the Senate in the last Congress has been reintroduced as S. 30, the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009. It was apparently read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It’s now got two more years to attempt to make it through the Senate and get signed into law… Is anyone else as skeptical as I am that it’ll actually happen? Remember, this bill started as the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2006.
The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007 (HR 251) passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 12th. It’ll be interesting to see if it makes it through the Senate this time, as last Congress the Senate basically sat on it until it was dropped at the end of the 109th Congress as not having passed.
If you’re interested in tracking this (or any other) bill as it makes it’s way through the U.S. Legislation process, I’ve found GovTrack.us to be invaluable.
In case anyone missed it, the Truth in Caller ID Act (now of 2007!) was re-introduced in the House as HR 251 on January 5th. The Senate’s version of the previous bill never passed during the 109th Congress, so here we go again… While re-reading through the bill however, I noticed something interesting that I hadn’t noticed before:
`(1) IN GENERAL- It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or VOIP service, to cause any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, with the intent to defraud or cause harm.
By specifically naming VoIP service separately from other telecommunications services, and then subsequently defining what a VoIP “service” is:
`(C) VOIP SERVICE- The term `VOIP serviceâ€™ means a service thatâ€“
`(i) provides real-time voice communications transmitted through end user equipment using TCP/IP protocol, or a successor protocol, for a fee or without a fee;
This ammendment seems to very specifically preclude any communications that take place on the Internet or any other “non-telecomunications” network that isn’t transmitted via both IP and TCP, or any successor protocols of IP and TCP used in conjuction that may follow them.
Now, Iâ€™m no lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, but that seems fairly clear to me. If true, that precludes Caller-ID information transmitted via any other transport protocol running within IP, or otherwise, from being affected by this law. Does that mean that if my signaling traffic happens to be UDP, as many of the protocols either are or allow, that it is then not subject to this law? I wonder if the tech-savvy, or lack thereof, of the U.S. Legislature may be introducing a nice convienient loophole for an attacker’s attorney to exploit when going to trial… birds of a feather after all.
Series of tubes, indeed.