Recently, the FCC decided to publish their “informal consumer complaints about unwanted robocalls and telemarketing calls” to the interwebs.
As someone critical of government transparency, I first want to give credit where due. Releasing this information is a great step forward.
Now, if you’re using an open source VoIP system (such as Asterisk, FreePBX, FreeSWITCH, Kamailio, etc.) it would be very easy to automatically block these numbers from reaching your phone.
As we learned from Jurassic Park…
Yeah, yeah, but your [voip engineers] were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park)
Today, I looked at the data and crunched it against 7 years worth of calls hitting the LOD phone system. I made sure that the number at least matched the US [2-9]XX-[2-9]XX-XXXX format and filtered out the 555-555 numbers.
Running the list against my dataset resulted in a match of 1,265 calls. Sadly, many of these calls were legitimate.
Before you go and block all of these numbers, make sure you won’t want to receive any calls from FedEx, American Express, Capital One, the IRS, INS, and the Treasury Department. There’s many big name companies on this list.
If you’re going through the immigration process (as I did with my smoking hot wife), you definitely DO NOT want to block calls from the INS.
The list is a great start, but the key here is that the list has not gone through any verification or quality control.
Soon, people will just exploit this list by forging the caller id of their competitors, just to get them blocked.
It’s a good start… just not ready for prime time.