(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

It's Easy To Sign Up Anyone For The Do Not Call List

from the not-so-easy-to-get-off dept

Earlier this month, I wondered why it was so easy to find anyone's phone number on the Do-Not-Call list. Since the list appeared to be open, it sounded like it was ripe for abuse. Of course, not only is it easy to find out if someone is on the list, it's easy to add anyone to the list - even accidentally. The Washington Post tried to look up whether or not the phone numbers of certain judges (who might hear cases about the list) were on the list already. However, they got confused by the interface and screwed up, accidentally adding those phone numbers to the list. They then discovered that it's not so easy to get such mistakes off the list, because you need to call from that number. I can definitely understand why they made the list easy to get on, but you do have to wonder about the fact that anyone can simply sign up anyone else for the list. Already, one of the top opponents of the list says he was placed on the list by someone else, and needed to call from home to get the number removed.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    LittleW0lf, Oct 21st, 2003 @ 5:58pm

    No Subject Given

    If 53.7 million people have gotten off their collective butts and accessed the website to add their name to the "Do-Not-Call" registry, you'd think the DMA folks would maybe consider changing their opinion on Telemarketing.

    But then again, since when did anyone at the DMA actually sit down and think anything through...no...I think the DMA folks have their heads so far up their behinds that all they can see is the "green" they aren't getting from the 53.7 million anti-commerce advocates out there (as Anonymous Coward so eligantly called us Ideological Fools who believe that advertisers are so intent in promoting a sale that they don't even take the time to direct the sale to those most willing to purchase the product they are selling and instead shot-gun it to most of the public who not only aren't interested, but are equally annoyed at often having to pay to receive the ads in the first place, and thus will be least likely to purchase your product, then call them rude for not buying the product you are selling.)

    If you were so obnoxious that 53.7 million women filed restraining orders against you to stop stalking them, wouldn't you get the hint?

    I am all for re-enacting the law of natural selection. No more warning labels! We need to thin the herd a little.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    momo, Oct 21st, 2003 @ 6:38pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    The problem is that the DMA members make a ton of money off of impulse or guilt sales. These are the people who would sign up for the list, but still might buy something

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    digibum, Oct 21st, 2003 @ 7:23pm

    Uhhhh. . .

    either something changed about the list or this is untrue. When I signed up you had to respond to an email confirming the email address to a telephone number. Now, I can see accidently submitting a number but that number would not be put on the list unless they also responded to the email to confirm the email address which I find very hard for someone to do accidently.

    Of course, I signed up on day so they could have changed it since them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Todd, Oct 21st, 2003 @ 8:01pm

    No Subject Given

    I signed up every member of my family the morning the site was unveiled. They were all appreciative, as many of them wouldn't have bothered or would have been put off by the process.

    To complete the online sign-up process, you had to give an email address, to which was sent registration information. So, to add someone you either had to (improperly) send that email to yourself, or do what I did: let the proper person finish the process to be added.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    AMetamorphosis, Oct 22nd, 2003 @ 6:50am

    How to add more #'s ...

    I too signed up every family member & friend that I know that does not have computer access. I used the SAME email address EVERY time to sign these up ( my own email address ) Each time when the email came in I confirmed it.
    I will tell you this ... it only allows you approximately 15 numbers to be added with the use of the same email address for confirmation.
    When it would no longer accept anymore #'s I simply used one of my alternate email accounts. I've told my Grandparents, family & friends what I have done and not ONE of them has been upset in the least. In fact, several of them thanked me quite profusely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Andrew Klossner, Oct 22nd, 2003 @ 11:49am

    email addresses

    > let the proper person finish the process to be added.< br>
    You gave the email address of every member of your family to the federal government? Yikes!

    > When it would no longer accept anymore #'s I simply used one of my alternate email accounts.

    This is why mailinator.com exists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Charles W, Oct 23rd, 2003 @ 10:09am

    No Subject Given

    Would be funny to see someone setup a mail server with a few thousand email addresses, and automate the process of adding a number to the list. Then add every possible phone number to the list. Now they can't call anyone.

    Charles W.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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