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It is time to ban caller ID spoofing

By Scott Tibbs, December 13, 2017

It is time for the federal government to criminalize Caller ID spoofing. It should also be a criminal offense to possess, sell, manufacture or distribute equipment or software that allows people to spoof their phone number. There is never a legitimate business need to spoof a phone number, and there is no legitimate need for private individuals to do so either. Caller ID spoofing is used only by criminals seeking to commit fraud and steal innocent people's credit card numbers or other sensitive private information.

But Caller ID spoofing adds another layer of evil to the harm already done by these criminals. They are stealing the identity of completely innocent people and using spoofed numbers for their criminal activity. How many innocent people have been harassed or unfairly reported to the authorities because they were the victim of identity theft by these reprehensible, despicable liars? This is an evil practice.

I am a federalist, so I prefer things be done by the states. However, there are some things that must be done by the federal government. Regulating interstate commerce is one of those things, and telephone service is by its nature interstate commerce. Criminalizing Caller ID spoofing would protect anyone with phone service from these criminals. The law must also apply to anyone who calls a US-based number with a spoofed Caller ID, even those who operate outside the borders of these United States. We have diplomatic, trade and law enforcement tools to bring these criminals to justice.

A stiff fine is not enough to discourage criminals engaged in spoofing. They need to be in prison, because as these criminals are behind bars they cannot defraud and steal from innocent people. All levels of government are charged by God with punishing the evil and protecting the innocent. (See Romans 13.) This would fulfill this commandment from the Almighty that delegated authority to the civil magistrate. It is shameful that this revolting practice was ever legal in the first place. Now is the time to correct this mistake.