Caller ID spoofing has been very elusive since Jason Jepson first launched Star38.com and claimed to have received death threats on his door. Until now no one has done a one-on-one interview with the operator of a commercial Caller ID spoofing service. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview via email with the creator of CIDSpoof, a fairly new Caller ID spoofing provider, which turns out to have been years in the making.
When was the first time you spoofed Caller ID or saw Caller ID spoofing for the first time?
I saw Caller ID Spoofing done for the first time when I was 17 years old. That was in 2002. VoIP had just started becoming popular in the young techie circles and everyone was trying to think up ideas to make a buck.
How did you get into Caller ID spoofing?
It seemed like a service that could be provided that people would have an interest in.
Why did you decide to open a Caller ID spoofing site?
Well, originally I purchased the domain name cidspoof.com on October 5, 2004. I began working on the site while in my sophomore year of college as a personal project so I'd have my own business ready when I graduated from school. I became very discouraged at the releases of Star38.com and Camophone, the first sites to offer online Caller ID spoofing later that month and quickly gave up my hopes and dreams. I finally decided in 2006 that I could offer a cheaper service than my soon to be competitors and finished the site.
Did you receive any letters from the FCC? If so, what was your initial reaction?
I did receive a letter from the FCC requesting every detail about how the spoofing process was taking place. The letter demanded a response within a certain number of days or I would face stiff fines and possible criminal charges. My first reaction was to dial my lawyer, which I did. My lawyer simply told me to comply, reviewed the response, and the letter was sent. I have not heard anything from the FCC since.
Where do you think Caller ID spoofing is headed in the future? Are you afraid of the "Truth In Caller ID Act of 2007" at all?
I think that the way the media portrays Caller ID spoofing has created a whole new level of fear in people concerning the technology. I think the Truth In Caller ID Act will pass, and I think Caller ID Spoofing will become illegal. I hope this is not the case, but as for most new technology, if it is not connected to big business somehow, it is made illegal.
What do you think of wire fraud and phone phishing being connected to Caller ID spoofing?
People have used regular telephones for years to commit these crimes, but AT&T and the Bell Corporations were never held responsible. Cell phones are not being outlawed because some people use them to commit crimes. All these modern services have some people who misuse the technology. Browsing the internet and possibly getting a virus. Being on MySpace and coming into contact with a child predator. Does this mean that the internet and MySpace should be made illegal? I think not.
How do you combat wire fraud and other illegal activity with CIDSpoof?
As per the description on my website, www.cidspoof.com, I focus on providing Caller ID apoofing as a privacy mechanism. I only keep track of the number of seconds used during each call for billing purposes.
How many users does CIDSpoof currently have anyways?
This one isn't getting answered! Sorry!
Doesn't hurt to try. Thanks for the interview.