Robocalls are a menace, and Caller ID spoofing is a sinister twist on this black art. Remember the National No Call List? It's a joke, brought to you by the same government apparatchiks who claim they can solve climate change if we just give them enough money.
Paul Starr rants about robocalls in his American Prospect article, The Robocall Deluge Is a Case of Government Failure.
And it's not just robocalls...
The robocall deluge is just one manifestation of a phenomenon I call “media degradation.” It goes along with spam email, spam text messages, fake news, deepfake videos, and much else.
Add to this a total loss of on-line privacy and "harmful content" in social media. Mark Zuckerberg joins Paul Starr in calling for more government intervention.
I share their concerns, but not their calls for more Big Government.
Here's how I rank their concerns, #1 being the biggest:
1. On-line Privacy. Government needs to pass a law. Now. Stating no one may sell, buy, share or otherwise traffic my personal information without my explicit written consent.
2. On-Line Free Speech. I want government to bust the on-line trusts. Global corporations own the digital public square, so social media must be converted into a public utility that guarantees access for all who do not break the law. The Twitter Stasi banned the pro-life movie Unplanned's twitter account, un-banned it, and then erased all its followers. King Twit Jack Dorsey needs to be dragged from his imperial palace by his hipster beard and publicly caned for all of the censorship he has engaged in.
3. Fake News. I do not want government intervening. The situation is bad enough as it is. The Infotainment News Media is going to have to police itself and clean up its act if it wants to up its approval rating, which is now lower than President Trump's.
4. Deepfake Videos. This is a biggie given how reliant as we are on video evidence and the unreflective credulity we invest in it. It's bad enough what the porn stuff can do to a person's reputation. Think about deepfakes of "leaked conversations, etc" of world leaders, or deepfaked atrocities designed to propagandize us into one more rage mob or worse, another war. What consoles me is the empirical fact that technology solutions solve technology problems. Context, forensic examination, non-video corroborating evidence or lack thereof, etc will snuff most deepfakes, if the resulting hysteria doesn't get out of control first.
5. Robocalls, Caller ID Spoofing, Spam E-Mails, Spam Texts. These annoy me, but I don't see the need for government intervention, although I would like to see the tech industry try harder at deploying customizable apps to help us snuff this didgicrap.
6. On-line Trollery. The Hill is rife with spam comments and obvious trolls, some flying false flags just to provoke. I would like to see some heuristic technology developed to eradicate such infestations.
7. "Harmful Content" in social media. If it doesn't break the law, Stop. Banning. It. I support some common sense community standards, but the Silicon Valley Archipelago has gone way overboard. Turn them all into public utilities and regulate them as such.
What say you?