"It will cost $X a month for service, and $Y more if you want to be able to use it..."
And as a revenue stream I worry this could create a perverse disincentive for carriers, why deal with a problem that makes people give us more money?
It makes me a bit bonkers, because well-designed markets can do an amazing job solving optimization problems.
So you have a highly regulated free market that is neither a free market nor does it have the advantages of complete regulation similar to Europe. It just ends up being a really inefficient system.
It's a very US problem where we somehow managed to get the worst of both worlds.
What would be an example of giving the public sector much decision making power "relatively free from consequence?" Would this be the FCC in this context? I ask because I'm genuinely interested in the point your making. Is there a relationship between this and and opportunistic private sector? Would this be the cell carriers in this context?
Trump forced all hospitals to be transparent about their prices, there’s no reason on this planet that the shit they’re peddling should cost the amount it does, and if the overhead is on the hospital then we need to regulate further up the ladder. The pharmaceutical companies and suppliers who are basically extorting everyone.
Over regulation is a bad thing, but some regulation, especially with an industry as corrupt as American healthcare is good.
"Blahous’s paper, titled “The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System,” estimates total national health expenditures. Even though his cost-saving estimates are more conservative than others, he acknowledges that Sanders’s “Medicare for All” plan would yield a $482 billion reduction in health care spending, and over $1.5 trillion in administrative savings, for a total of $2 trillion less in overall health care expenditures between 2022 and 2031, compared to current spending." 
I just counted 62 Healthcare companies in the S&P 500. 5.1 trillion of lost revenue to those companies would be detrimental to the economy.
5.1T / 10 Years = .51T / Year
Current US Stock Market Cap: 153% of 21T = 53T 
.51T of 53T = 0.9%
For reference; the 2000s bubble had the stock market decrease by 36% over 3 years, the 2008 bubble 45% over 2 years .
I'd say "tank the economy" is an overstatement. I'm glad to be shown otherwise _with sources_
Here's how we could lower costs for Americans overnight: Allow importation of prescription medicines.
Medicare for all will lead to doctors for none. It's really hard to get appointments from places that accept Medicare, it's just not worth the hassle for many doctors to deal with them.
There are many serious people in Washington talking about the universal healthcare, just not many talking about government takeover of providers.
Another analogy I like to give blind conservatives has to do with referees in their favorite sport. Yes, you don't love referees, but when they are doing a good job and seem to be calling it squarely, you know the overall game is better for have their involvement.
It helps but orthodoxy is hard to break.
Efficient Market Hypothesis:
"The efficient-market hypothesis was developed by Eugene Fama who argued that stocks always trade at their fair value, making it impossible for investors to either purchase undervalued stocks or sell stocks for inflated prices. As such, it should be impossible to outperform the overall market through expert stock selection or market timing, and that the only way an investor can possibly obtain higher returns is by chance or by purchasing riskier investments."
Investment theory of party competition :
"[...] if voters cannot bear the cost of becoming informed about public affairs they have little hope of successfully supervising government."
As an example, I used to work for financial traders. The exchanges were in key ways extremely free markets; anybody with the dough could buy the commodities they wanted quickly, cheaply, and easily. But the exchanges self-regulated very strongly. It was very clear to everybody at the company that making an exchange mad was Very Bad; rules had to be followed. And even getting allowed to trade on the exchange was a difficult and complicated process.
Rather the GoP whose rhetoric talks about free markets, is really just all about picking winners themselves and legislating profits for their allies.
In order to create any free market and foster competition, an entity has to decide and then enforce the rules for the market, which allows that entity to pick a winner by the rules it choose to write and then enforce.
Plus, in mature markets, fostering competition is antithetical to maintaining the "freeness" of the market, because it requires punishing the "winners" in order to ensure competitors, by things like breaking up competitors that are able to leverage winning in one area to compete and then win in another area (ie antitrust/antimonopoly), invalidating patents/trade secrets/intellectual property/etc. when ever something is so dominant that without access to it no one can compete, and limiting how competitors can compete (eg preventing them from limiting how purchasers can use their products).
And of course, every decision made for how to implement the kinds of issues outlined in the above paragraph is an opportunity to pick who wins, too.
And over time even a single, small benefit can be enough to guarantee a specific rational actor will win out over its competitors.
Certainly not in all cases, but if the issue you have is that individual decisions aren't enough to pick a winner, no matter how large/important, then change the last paragraph to
>>> And of course, every decision made for how to implement the kinds of issues outlined in the above paragraph is an opportunity to pick whom to give an advantage over their competitors, too.
And this doesn't even begin to consider the issue that since the mechanism for making and enforcing the rules exists within the system of rules it creates, both fostering competition and enforcing a free market give opportunities for competitors to buy rules and/or enforcement of rules that benefit them at the expense of competitors, either directly or indirectly.
I can say in a given industry they can't pull some bait and switch... a company that relies on that tacit could go out of business, is that picking winners or regulating poor behavior?
Like anything working to maintain some level of competitiveness would be like hitting a moving target, you'll have to change what you do, address barrier of entry issues one day, who knows what next.
And yes, regulating poor behavior is absolutely picking winners/picking losers/picking specific companies to disadvantage/advantage, and not just because of issues with uneven enforcement. Determining which behaviors are disallowed and which behaviors will be policed by "natural market forces", especially when talking about modifying rules for a preexisting market, means picking winners/losers/who gets advantaged/disadvantaged. This is why encouraging/fostering competition is antithetical to making/maintaining a free market.
You also can't bring a non-iOS/Android phone to their network (aside from iPhones, all devices must be purchased through them).
I plan on buying a Librem 5 when they are released; I will have to switch carriers and pay more every month, but freedom is worth the price.
But for my parents, paying just $7/line in taxes and then 20-30 dollars per month for data is well worth it, even after factoring in the expensive upgrades from the old S8+/Note 7 to their S9+/Note 9 (and yes, the S8+/Note 7 would have worked perfectly fine on their network if not for their asinine restrictions).
The more I age, the more I recognize these things aren't absolute and recognize that the levels of benefit/harm are often nuanced to specific situations and wouldn't use such a broad brush strokes of "only" and "always" (as opposed to recognizing a pattern).
Make it illegal, make it illegal for telecoms to allow it.
At this point we all effectively pay an extra few percent sales tax for their “services”, when simply securing the payment network would cost much less than that.
Definition of oligopoly: Oligopoly is a market structure with a small number of firms, none of which can keep the others from having significant influence.
I can literally buy a SIM card in Europe for my phone that gives me 5 times my monthly usage for less than what I pay for a single month.The market is absolutely harmed by the lack of competition and we did it to ourselves by selling off the public spectrum and paying for the privilege to do so. The Republican party is the most anti-American party that exists in the US and they used the willingness of the religious right to follow whatever lip service they get paid to the ballot box.
Democrats are pretty terrible too, but mostly because they are naive, unwilling to get their hands dirty, and try to play by rules that are only used by them. You don't win a war with flowery words and kind gestures. You win it by eliminating your enemy and taking away any ability by them to continue the fight.
The Senate best represents the "party elders" while presidential administrations come and go. And judicial nominations are a major responsibility of the Senate.
They used to be largely pro-forma: as long as the nominee had a decent judicial record, the party in power was allowed to nominate whoever they wanted. Democrats started scorched Earth tactics back with Justice Bork back in '87; attacking his character and slandering him rather than challenging his competence.
Seeing that Alberto Gonzalez was likely to be a Hispanic Republican SCOTUS nominee, they wanted his career ended, and the hearings were so vicious his wife miscarried.
And this has gone off the rails finally with Kavanaugh. Regardless of the truth of Blasey's accusations, it is irrefutable that Democrats sat on them until the last minute, releasing the accusations to delay the nomination until they could retake the Senate.
This was using a criminal accusation, and the human being who was potentially a victim of rape, as a weapon to further their political ends. This represents the deepest and most inhuman disregard possible for the rule of law and justice.
All the while, Democratic nominations continue to either go through, or they have been denied by procedure, which was always the rule and the entire point of having elections. At no point have Democratic judicial nominees been removed by slander that would itself be a crime in any other context.
Attacking each other on hidden fees to prevent robot spam would be a major selling point, especially since it's so front of mind for so many people.
What I'm saying is, this proposal can't come soon enough.
1. Transcription, for your amusement: Hi this is Carolyn calling from reliable resource communications. Reliable resource communications is a telecommunications service used by other companies to notify consumers on their behalf. I have made numerous attempts to reach you regarding an entry form that was filled out in your name within the last 12 to 18 months to receive a new car. Now this will be my final attempt to notify you that your name was pulled and you are going to receive one of our top three major prizes. It will be in your best interest to give me a call back at soon as possible. My number is 984-292-1515 at extension 3:21. We are not a telemarketing agency nor timeshare and this is not a cold call please do not ignore this message. I'm very aware of the do not call list but wouldn't be calling unless someone actually answered. This is a time sensitive matter and I do look forward to hearing from you. Once again congratulations my name is Carolyn.
It's always the final attempt/notice. Every time. I've received dozens of "final notices" that my 22 year old car's factory warranty (10 yrs, 100k miles) is "about" to expire.
1. I am in prison for vehicular manslaughter and how did you get my burner cell phone number?
2. I was in a horrible accident in that car and my life is ruined, thanks for bringing it up.
3. The more general "I only have 6 months to live" I use as a catch-all for ending any of these calls: sure I am lying, are you bold enough to call me on it?
#3 makes me think I should talk to my wife about being ready for me to hand off the phone in that situation.
Years ago the majority of my emails and phone calls became spam. Now it's the great majority.
The majority of people who knock on my door aren't yet religious proselytizers, but it's getting close.
On the other hand, if it was that common, there would be a market for systems that defeat it for the spammers.
Anything more complicated like actually following the voice prompt isn't going to happen soon.
Of course this assumes enough people follow the pattern of press some number to continue. Every time the pattern changes the cost of understanding it and fitting it into their system goes up. In the end though it isn't a scheme we can win: AI can successfully follow more complex processes than humans can in this limited space - including random failure to follow the instructed process if it is too complex.
"This is a anti-robocall system, please answer the question to complete the call. A mother cat and her three kittens are sleeping in a box. Dial the number of animals in that box."
The number of kittens change randomly and maybe the system can put some pillows, blankets and other non-animals in the box too, making automated processing harder. AI will get there, sure, but this will make things expensive for the attackers.
I'm thinking something like, "All unsolicited calls concerning the sale, lease, rental, or exchange of goods and/or services, regardless of past contact between calling parties or their third party affiliates, will incur a $5000/hr convenience fee, minimum billing for 1 hour, to be paid to _your name_ at POBox ... in full within 90 calendar days of the current date. This fee may be waived at _your name_'s discretion. Press 1 to accept or hang up to decline."
Bonus points if you fit the fee discussion in before the call center switchboard hand-off to a live operator.
Unfortunately, 900 numbers apparently went away in the 2000s. Such a shame, it really would have solved the problem quite efficiently.
As a proposal for wider implementation, you could just select the languages you speak to be valid languages for the captcha. Seems like a feature rather than a problem.
tl;dr the action would allow carriers to default to blocking calls on the part of their customers. Once SHAKEN/STIR (caller ID authentication) is available, this means carriers can block calls that don't include authenticated caller ID. Presumably they already could do this if the customer opted in.
This all seems like a good idea, but I think Pai is overselling it a bit by calling it "bold."
Is this really true? How absolutely dysfunctional things must be.
You either need to update regulations on a fast time scale, or a way to encourage actual competition (so the heavy anti-trust-like regulations aren't required). Otherwise, you've just given up on there ever being meaningful progress/innovation in the industry.
That said, this is exactly what a competent FCC should do - in the absence of a larger ruling to require consumer-protecting behavior to be implemented by carriers, it should seek to clarify existing rulings - which is exactly what is happening here. Carriers interpreted an older FCC statement to prohibit them from blocking robocalls by default, and it's likely this was never the intent.
I don't think that's all of it by any means, but there are a number of ways that the carriers can tell that some percentage of the calls are bogus without having to ask the receiver if they want to receive it.
It's like being forced to read my spam folder with an audible alert. I have to field calls from a lot of clients that I have never spoken to before or have only called them a couple times, so only answering phone calls from recognized numbers isn't really an option.
This isn't a civil matter, this is criminal and should be treated as such.
It's clear to me that the U.S. has the technical capability of hunting down the origins of these calls, and bring the offenders to trial.
This leads me to believe it's a matter of political will, and I don't understand the inaction.
Do they? From what I've gathered its mostly small distributed shops in India and the Philippines. Shut one down, three new ones pop up.
If anybody thinks that's too severe, explain to them that DDOSing a nation's telecom system is an act of cyberwar.
Sorry to say it, ditto for Erdogan
Pretty sure he'd need only threaten the Philippine telecom executives with death, but if he wants to carry through with it at this point I wouldn't shed a tear.
How is that clear?
I still agree with you though, the robocall companies that you can find from google should be arrested. Maybe even slice off a finger?
I don't always use privacy protection when registering domain names, so my number is out there, and after I get a new domain I get crushed over the next few days with robocalls.
I am in the same boat where I have to answer all the calls or I lose business, so it's a nightmare. Also, I can't even do anything productive on my phone because the calls interrupt everything.
I think people who run these robocall companies should be burned at the stake.
I feel like this is a completely solvable technical problem, I can't accept that it has to be this way.
What needs to change:
1) Fix Caller-ID so that it can't be spoofed for fraudlulent purposes
2) Make it easy to report violations of the rules to the FCC
3) Actually enforce the rules
Then the Do Not Call Registry and bans on robocallers might actually work.
I suppose this will get through since it doesn’t hurt the profits of the telcos. In fact it will give them a new profit center! Because I’m sure that they won’t offer “block by default” for free.
And that is why I'll give him 0.0 credit.
It's the same thing with "USPS going bankrupt", charge commercial mail its actual cost (x10 what costs now) and see the money come in. You get subsidized cost if you actually buy a physical stamp and glue it to your letter
Or are there subsidies I don't understand that you think are doing that?
See how much a stamp cost vs. "Commercial"/"Direct Mail" options
(though maybe 10x is an exaggeration)
I think another way to implement it that would be "telco friendly" would be to charge for each phone call, even if it doesn't connect.
The fact that they’re still using signaling system 7 is not a defense for their negligence.
Also, for each contact I want to be notified about their texts Ive edited each contact > text tone —> Emergency Bypass on and no text tone.
My phone is now back to what I feel belongs to me and not scum using MY phone to bother me for their benefit.
The most common ones I get are from The Credit Card Company to tell me that because of my excellent credit history, I have qualified to get my credit card directly through them at a lower interst rate, instead of having it resold to me through Visa or Mastercard. For these calls, I'll generate a fake card number, SSN, name, address, etc, and start answering their questions. Inevitably, when the number comes back as bogus, they get angry, and yell at me to tell me how much of a cocksucking faggot I am and that they're going to come rape my daughter. I laugh at their attempts to form insults being less coherent than their English in general and move on with my day.
Of course, as soon as I tried to start recording these calls, they became much less frequent. I can't help but wonder if my number hasn't become blacklisted by these scam centers in India and the Philippines as a known unprofitable time waster or something. Why waste your time calling someone you know you can't get anything out of when there's lower-effort marks out there which will be more profitable?
All the same, I'd prefer not to have deal with these guys, so any actually workable solution would be welcome.
Hah! While reviewing this post, I got yet another call from these guys. And I got the most persistent one of 'em I've had yet. They're getting good with semi-plausible responses to the most common deflections. But, their geography skills aren't much better than mine. Apparently Lebanon is in Canada.
I was really surprised the first time I got a got a bunch of obscenities out of one of these scammers-- I figured they'd consider being screwed with just a cost of doing business.
Aside: I went from a couple a day to none in the last three days after saying "DO NOT HANG UP. You have reached the US department of illicit telephone communication"<click>. Perhaps a coincidence.
I tried Mr. Number and a couple other free options which didn't seem to block much. I paid $30/yr for RoboKiller and unwanted calls have been reduced substantially - to maybe 1 per week slipping through. It's not just doing caller ID analysis, you actually forward your calls to them and they screen them before they even get to your phone. Seems to work well.
Best solution I've found on iPhone --> Do NoT Disturb --> only allow calls from contacts. Receive texts notifications only from contacts too.
2. It would be great if instead they introduced legislation that made it dead simple to sue robocallers, i.e.
- request your call records from carrier
- submit said call records through online portal proving excessive calls
The idea is one I am definitely supportive of. My phone rarely comes out of DnD now because of the robocallers.
But the devil is in the details. Forcing people to add someone to their contact list before being able to receive calls from them will probably be a bit draconian.
Another possible solution would be that someone can request access to call you and there is some service that verifies their identity and presents that information to you.
"[NAME] is requesting permission to contact you through [VOICE CALLS, EMAIL, TEXT]. Allow/Deny?"
Another good solution might be to add something equivalent to HTTPS / SSL certs, where only secure and verified identities can contact you.
1. Get the list of phone numbers of everybody working at AT&T (Sony style)
2. Set up robocalls randomly from each of these numbers to each of the other numbers
3. Share this list and your specific howto instructions with three other people
Every other solution fails.
I understand these calls mostly take advantage of unsuspecting people, but I still can't imagine the impact these calls are making financially.
I think all spammers should be dealt with in the manner Vlad Tepes used to deal with Turks, criminals, and people who talk at the theater. However, we're going to need a lot of thick, sturdy bamboo stakes if we're going to impale every spammer we find.
Sharpen the femurs of their predecessors. Because most spammers yield two femurs, you only need one starter stake and then your supply of weapons is self sustaining.
My fear is as with the anti-robo call laws, carrier-level blocking will arrive with exemptions for political and charity solicitations and the like that some non-negligible number of end users would prefer to avoid.
The telephone provider is the only one who has the technical ability to block these calls. But I agree that it should only do so with the consent of the subscriber.
From the link:
> He expects providers to offer consumers robust, free call blocking tools based on analytics & consumer contact lists.
I do have some privacy concerns about the contact lists being exposed but in general this seems like a good thing.
Maybe. I think, though, that there is growing understanding that consumers may just opt out of the phone system altogether if something isn't done.
Having the provider drop them is analogous to having ISPs drop packets with forged source IPs.
No one is allowed to call me unless they are on my contacts list, or perhaps another whitelist of not-quite-contacts-but-allowed-to-call-me. Any calls off those lists silently fail. Phone providers must upgrade their infrastructure to include origin-number verification.
No business is allowed to expect I be available to answer phone calls, or to require me to conduct business over the phone, for any reason, ever. Each time I am charged or penalized by a business in any way for missing their call, or not doing something that can only be done over the phone, they are required to eat the charge and then fined $10,000.
Let's throw business over the phone where it belongs: in the fucking garbage. The death of robocalls will be a nice side bonus.
I want to get rid of robocalling, too, but I don't want my phone neutered to do it.
Also, only allow text messages from contacts via edit a contact --> text tone --> emergency bypass on and no text tone if you don't want to hear a sound.
Works great for me... my phone is now all mine again! Scum are ignored & go directly to voicemail.
For all of the legacy web forms and apps that require a phone number field be populated, carriers must provide routing for a standardized blackhole number. No business is allowed to reject the blackhole number as an invalid phone number.
If the blocking doesn't work completely from within my own device then it's going to be a no from me.
2. Device consults its own program, controlled by the subscriber-recipient, and responds with a signal to the network regarding the disposition of the call.
3. The network will then relay that signal to the originator, who may be required to respond one or more times before any human even knows someone is calling.
In short, I'd like the service providers to give me options other than "connect the call" and "send the call directly to voice mail and notify me anyway". I also want, at least, "refuse the call immediately without me knowing anything about it", "pay me a toll before I allow my phone to get my attention for you", and "prove you are the real person that you claim to be before I ring my phone on your behalf".
I'd like to be able to whitelist all my contacts so they ring immediately, and blacklist some numbers that will always get a fast busy signal every time they call my number. Ideally, there would also be some way to validate that the caller id number belongs to the call originator, perhaps by sending a nonce to the number claimed, and requiring that the originator repeat it in the current call session.
The provider can handle a simple program for land lines, dumb phones, or other phones that can't understand the newer protocol, but given that smartphones are pocket computers, I want to be able to control my own device without some third party stepping in and possibly selling me out.
The bit is basically "F U. We're the phone company; we don't have to care."
Although I have no expectation the GOP would actually do this, I would add an asterisk to the policy...
* If you use these lists for marketing to existing customers, we reserve the right to sue you out of existence. Kindly GFY.
If this gets widespread adoption, then recruiters and legitimate robocalls will come up with solutions. The problem I have is that if I block all unknown numbers, I'll also be blocking my bank/credit card/pharmacy or other legitimate robocalls. So I can't do this myself. But if everyone blocks unknown calls, these entities will be forced to come up with a solution (e.g. sending out emails instead).
The particular example you give of recruiters with blocked numbers rubs me the wrong way. Like you can call me out of the blue and interrupt my work day, and you're not even exposing your phone number? Good riddance.
Because however you define it, there will undoubtedly be a more legitimate way of contacting the person.
Edit: Just checked again on my phone. Even if you specifically tell do not disturb to only allow calls from your contact list they still pop up on the screen and they don't go straight to voicemail. Google seems to have outright banned any behavior that sends calls directly to voicemail without a notification. I'm on a pixel 3 with google fi.
I don't actually believe this argument, but I'm curious what self-described free speech absolutists think.
There are some obvious nuances around different media, especially around physical audio in the real world, where just because you're saying something that is reaching people's ears does not within reason mean you're "forcing" them to "hear" it, but in the case of a robocall it's definitely an attempt to force itself on you, especially in light of the Do Not Call list providing positive in-advance affirmation of a lack of desire to hear this particular speech.
I think is one of those cases where a "reasonable person" standard works pretty well and trying to get nitpicky on "but what if...?" is mostly a way to get yourself turned around in circles, not a path to enlightenment.
(If nothing else, you can't have a generalized right to force other people to listen to you out of sheer scale; the many hundreds of thousands of people who would jump on that "right" to do something would consume well in excess of 100% of your time if such a right generally existed, in our current socio-technological landscape in which broadcast is so easy and readily available to everyone. Robocalls are an example of that problem squeezing through even despite our layers of protection; it would be far worse if our society determined there was a right to such things.)
I do not give robots rights. You - or your representative -can personally call anyone you want to. You can have a robot dial the phone even - but you need to be personally on the line when the call connects, not a millisecond latter.
Harassment is illegal so you won't be calling me more than once. Even without a do not call, you won't call more than once unless you can show the call is different from the last time in a significant way. You won't get out of this by starting a different "shell company" to call me again either.
Fraud is also illegal. This stops most instances right there. Note that it is also fraud to take up excessive time, if I've "won a car" I better get a car with not much more than the legal paperwork.
If they can't stop intentionally deceptive businesses that spoof their identity on those shared resources from calling my elderly parents 3 times a day because of freedom of speech, they can go ahead and return a bunch of my property and let me do what I want with my ham radio.
A good analogy would be stopping someone on the street and trying to talk to them. In most cases, you have that right. But the other person also has the right to ignore you.
It sounds like the phone companies won't block without your permission, they will give you (the consumer) the tools to block based on your own criteria.
Social media platforms have different levels of interruption from direct messages depending on whether someone is already your friend. They categorize direct messages from strangers and suspected spammers differently but they usually still provide a section you can check to see them. Gmail does the same with the spam folder.
I could see something like that where you have a separate spam section where you can see a history of who tried to call you but don't get notifications from it.
A system like that would be hard to argue that they are blocking freedom of speech.