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View Diary: The MI GOP freakout cont'd: Robocalls warn against identity theft from signing petitions-AUDIO link (79 comments)

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  •  ha-ha -- the desperation is palpable (25+ / 0-)

    Just wondering if this new info would serve better as an UPDATE x1 to the diary still high on the reclist? Tipped and rec'd, regardless. Thanks, Eclectablog. :)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 05:30:35 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, Eric (19+ / 0-)

      At this point, I'll leave it as a standalone diary, I guess. I'm packing to go camping in The Most Beautiful Place in America so I gotta get off the 'puter ;)

      "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
      -- Dr. Peter Venkman

      Yeah, yeah, I tweet

      by Eclectablog on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 05:37:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  cool! I hope you have a great time! (6+ / 0-)

        Let people (friends, family) know the general area in which you'll be. I say that because I saw the true-story movie 127 Hours very recently, and the hero (James Franco) severely regrets not telling anyone where he was hiking!

        I ♥ President Barack Obama.

        by ericlewis0 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 06:00:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fabulous place. I've been there. Have fun! /nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper, Siri

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        -Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 06:12:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the answer to this shit is to BAN robocalls. (21+ / 0-)

        Expert opinion here, telecoms engineer.

        Make it an across-the-board ban on predictive dialers and robocalls in general, as an issue of "time/place/manner" rather than content.   It just so happens that this would wipe out the right's phone abuse as well as much of the telemarketing crap.

        This can be done under FCC regulation of telephone services and equipment, including by imposing impossible-to-meet requirements on the equipment and on telcos so they can't provide service that will make the equipment comply.  

        One such requirement would be something like "positive electrical answer/disconnect supervision," in other words, the telco would have to provide a physical signal (such as a transient voltage drop or polarity reversal) when you answer a call or hang up on a robocall, to force-release the line so you can immediately make an outgoing call.  (Present technology takes from 7 - 10 seconds for the called party to release the line.)

        Another requirement could be for live persons to monitor all such calls at all times and be able to disconnect if they hear the called party complaining about the call.  This would impose an onerous labor requirement on robocallers.   Another might be to require that each robocall be introduced by a legal statement as to who is paying for it and provide a call-back contact number for their management.  

        This is not difficult, all it takes is the will.

        •  but but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Wouldn't that be counter to the first amendment which allows me to say whatever I damned well please?

        •  My only problem with this... (0+ / 0-)

          I've found several medical providers around here that robocall me the evening before an appointment. It's handy.

          •  they can as easily do that via.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mjfgates, GypsyT, Bluefin

            ... live people in a call center, or email, or other means.  

            Or they could seek an exception based on a) you giving explicit consent on a form that serves that purpose only (rather than "consent" on an unrelated form), or b) that medical needs deserve the same exception as reverse-911 calls, because they are concerned with the life-safety and health of the persons being called.  

            •  Maybeso. (0+ / 0-)

              So long as any law banning robocalls DID include one of those exceptions, that'd be fine. The "giving consent" one, in particular, makes sense.. maybe you want a robotic wake-up call in the morning! Maybe you want a robocall to tell you a delivery's arrived! Stuff like that.

              •  two things: (0+ / 0-)

                One, the telephone network is not designed for use as a broadcast medium, and using it that way interferes with its core purpose as a one-to-one medium (e.g. to avoid robocalls you turn off the ring and miss an important call).  

                So the use of it for broadcast messages has to be minimized and restricted to essential functions such as public safety.  

                Two, signing up for notifications of any kind should require explicit consent on a distinct and separate form, not tied to anything else such as e.g. getting a discount on a product.  However, most of those types of notifications are redundant with other types of technology:  for example I have no sympathy for "wake up calls" because there's a device known as an alarm clock that performs that function, and delivery messages can be sent via text or email.  So using the telephone for that purpose is a needless frill and shouldn't be used to open a door that will let in a plague.  

        •  Robocalls can be legitimate... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and I don't think it's necessarily fair for those to be banned as well. Especially in my university's case, where they have an alert system set up to call people in emergencies. Plus, what defines a robocall? Anyone using automated equipment to call a number and play a message? If I wrote a computer program to call me whenever I had an appointment on my calendar or something, would I be breaking the law?

          With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied - chains us all, irrevocably.

          by Andrew M on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:44:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  emergency services are an exception. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And should be one of a very very small number of exceptions, defined as "the safety and health of the person being called," where the entity doing the calling has nothing to gain in any way from the call.  

            What defines robocalls is the combination of automated dialing, recorded messages, and the quantity of numbers being dialed.  Your computer program only calls you.   Robocalls call tens of thousands of numbers.   There is no equivalence between the two.  

          •  one more thing: (0+ / 0-)

            Alerting yourself to appointments via automated phone calls is an absurd case.   The legitimate need for something like that is limited to people who are blind or otherwise disabled in such a manner that receiving a message in an auditory format via the public switched telephone network is the only way they can get the reminders.  Though, somehow, blind people always did fine without computers calling them on the phone.  

      •  oh, I'm so envious! not for the camping (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eclectablog, libnewsie, jabney

        (which I don't love) but for the views.
        We were in a spot on Lake Michigan way way way to the south of where you're going and it was gorgeous!  As an Atlantic Ocean person, I assumed Lake Michigan would be perfectly nice but not impressive.  Boy was I wrong.  Huge long stretch of beach; almost no people in sight; water as far as the eye could see.  We loved walking and swimming and just sitting and looking.
        So where you'll be must be even more amazing.  Have a wonderful time!

        If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

        by Tamar on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 07:33:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have a good time. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        libnewsie, Seamus D

        My experience with the Dunes came from a trip in the middle of a very cold winter and we were cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  Not the kind of stuff you'll be doing, but I've had friends work as NPS rangers there.

        Enjoy the sun, the surf and the lack of constant politicking.  If you can get away from the politicking.

    •  Looks like it managed to do okay on its own :-) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, ER Doc
    •  Me thinks they're hearing footsteps. Or to use a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seamus D

      Middle-earth quote by Galadriel:

      Your coming to us is as the footsteps of doom

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