Government offers $50,000 for a little help.


Tom Garrett 4 years, 2 months ago


That's what the government is saying.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is so fed up with illegal robocalls that it is offering fifty big ones to whoever comes up with "the best technical solution to block illegal commercial robocalls."

The FTC logs tens of thousands of robocall complaints each month. In the past year alone, there were more than 2 million complaints from people who didn't want to be bothered by automated calls.

The head of the commission's consumer-protection bureau, David Vladeck, says the FTC "is attacking illegal robocalls on all fronts, and one of the things that we can do as a government agency is to tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public."

He also points out that anyone who can do that will become a "national hero."

Amen to that!

Go for it!

And be %$#@! sure that whatever you come up with includes political surveys. I think the American people have had their fill of those after this year of garbage calls. This is no longer the age of innocence, when we believed that the purpose of an "opinion" call was to get an opinion; we now know that their purpose is to feed us partisan propaganda or to trash the other candidate.

So get to work. Get rid of ALL robocalls, including those from scammers, too-greedy businesses, and political parties.

As far as I'm concerned, if you manage it your statue should be erected in front of the Washington Monument.

And be just as tall!


frederick franz 4 years, 2 months ago

That's a tough challenge! I expect to see a few technical solutions come up. But then the robocallers will just come up with a way to defeat any fix!


Tom Garrett 4 years, 2 months ago

The fix is to put people in prison and let them call all they want. Like this:

"Hey! Hey! Mister guard, sir! Will you please get this shiv out of my belly, sir? :-)

Seriously, the solution is to require the phone companies to come up with a system to shut robocallers down or start paying a fine for each call they allow. It would easy for them to do it. And they know it, but they're enjoying the income.

Just think about it for ten seconds. How hard is it to tell that someone is using his line to send out hundreds of calls? It's obvious that the phone companies know exactly who is doing it. How could they not know? It may be hard for someone receiving a call to tell a computer is calling, but the people who own the lines can tell in a flash when someone is making an inordinate number of calls, can put a monitor on the line, see what they are, and shut it down if appropriate. So that's where to put the onus, where it belongs. On the corporations that are making a fat profit out of our misery.

In fact, I think I may send that idea off to Washington.

After the election though. I don't want to waste my time.

If Romney gets elected there is no chance anything will be done about it.


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