July 11, 2019
Telecommunications giant AT&T has announced it plans to block fraud calls
AT&T put out this statement:
The move comes after the FCC last month voted to let carriers block robocalls by default. AT&T is now the first of the big four U.S. carriers to commit to do that.
"The Commission's recent action builds on a years-long effort to enable broader adoption of call-blocking tools and allow providers to better protect their customers and networks," AT&T Communications Executive Vice President of Regulatory and State External Affairs Joan Marsh said in a statement. "AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls."
While this may sound like a good thing, I caution everyone to be dubious. How long before they begin blocking "fraud" calls from, say, conservative candidates running for Congress? From the NRA or other advocacy groups with which they disagree? How long will it be before they have a "no call list" for political dissidents?
Every time you restrict information, even for noble purposes, you open the door to abuse. Tyrannies are not so much born as slowly baked, often one brick at a time.. This is the exact sort of thing that acts as a brick in the wall of despotism.
And we customers don't have much recourse. The National Don't Call Registry is a dinosaur, and frankly, was even in the days before robocalls were developed. Now, machines do the calling, and it does absolutely no good to pick up the phone and say (or yell) "DON'T CALL ME AGAIN!" Now, we're told "don't answer the call." You have different ways to block calls but keeping up with the different numbers calling in is a never-ending task.
I keep getting text messages offering me a chance to go to work for Amazon. I doubt they're genuine. I send them to a SPAM list but they keep coming -- texts appear unblockable, unlike voice calls.
It's tempting to go back to the old Dixie cups and string. . .
Posted by: Dana Mathewson at July 11, 2019 10:09 AM (rIYC+)
The no-call list worked great until the explosion in cell phones. It's too bad; I never received unsolicited calls way back when.
Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at July 12, 2019 07:56 AM (U/bHD)
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