TrapCall: Anonymity denied to Caller ID… at least for now

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Girls just got a new weapon in their attempts to totally shut their creepy, mouthpiece-licking, heavy-breathing exes out of their lives: TrapCall, a service that allows anonymous Caller IDs to be identified before pick-up.

The way the unmasking service works is pretty clever. Caller ID’s existing anonymity provisions allow anyone to mask their call, but excludes anonymity to callers of 1-800 numbers, since the owners of those numbers are paying for the call. TrapCall simply reroutes an unanswered call to a 1-800 number then back to your voicemail, recording the number as it squirts through its servers.

AT&T and T-Mobile are already signed up to allow this, with other carriers expected to be announced within weeks. For the end user, the service costs $10 a month.

There’s privacy concerns, of course, but I’m okay with them: there’s recipient lines in my emails. There’s a peephole on my front door. It’s not unreasonable to expect to know who a person is before you allow them to impose upon your time… but there’s ways to get around those guards too.

In the age of technology, privacy is all about the flux and ebb, the clash between competing systems.The way technology and capitalism interact will prompt other companies to come up with solutions that will guarantee customer privacy, just like how anonymous email services allow you to email someone without giving your identity away. I like that. It can only make privacy stronger and more clearly defined.

Anonymous Caller? New Service Says, Not Any More [Threat Level]

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8 Responses to TrapCall: Anonymity denied to Caller ID… at least for now

  1. SifakaMon says:

    So how long before the same company offers a service that lets me call through their number so I can disguise my original number?

  2. tresser says:

    I’m Crazy late to this. i’ve been quite ill as of late, and am only now getting to older posts here.

    it’s true that your ani gets passed along to 800 numbers, but we used to be able to block that also. AT&T had a nice little service you could use on payphones to force it to use AT&T over whatever the local would normally go to. (this was back when the 10-10-XXXXXX numbers were everywhere)

    you’d dial 1-800-call-att before you dial your number. then you’d get an automated “welcome to at&t” voice. you could then enter the 800 number you were calling, and instead of your ani getting passed, the ani of the your local at&t router would get passed.

  3. Doctor Popular says:

    My favorite tool for blocking masked #’s is iBlacklist for the iPhone http://www.iblacklist.com.br/iblacklist/index.php

    You can send all masked #’s directly to voicemail or just auto hang up. You can also blacklist any numbers to do the same thing (not all telemarketing is masked).

    Of course the only downside is your phone has to be hacked, but iBlacklist and Clippy (cut and paste) are my two biggest reasons to keep my iPhone jailbroken.

  4. nutbastard says:

    i just dont pick em up, and my voice mail greeting informs them that i don’t accept blocked calls.

    for free, too. pretty lame, having customer A paying for blocking and customer B paying for unblocking.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “So how long before the same company offers a service that lets me call through their number so I can disguise my original number?”

    Funny you should ask that.

    Trap call is coming from the same folks that bring us “Spoofcard”, that allows spoofing a different number than we are calling from

    http://www.spoofcard.com/

  6. tsteele999 says:

    On our way to eliminating the house phone, my wife canceled caller ID and the other features we were paying extra for. Now answering the phone is a crap shoot every time. I hate not having caller ID but they bundled it with 3 way calling and call waiting.

  7. ehamiter says:

    This is brilliant. I am finally going to get the fuckers who call me and offer to lower my credit card rates. Their caller ID has 11 digits, and the bastards always hang up on me when I ask what their company’s name is.

    Now I can call them back and insult their mothers’ birthplaces in a very condescending manner. Those rogues!

    and for #3, they do:

    http://www.spoofcard.com/

  8. dculberson says:

    I really only see stalker types signing up for this service. The stalked aren’t going to bother until it’s too late.

    My wife (a psychologist) uses caller ID blocking so she can call clients from her personal phone. Looks like we can’t count on that for too much longer.

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