January 16, 2009


Pardon my schadenfreude

Global News has uncovered a serious problem with the Liberals' "Do Not Call" program, passed in 2005:
Thousands of Canadians tell us that signing up for the list has left their phones ringing off the hook. Home phones and for the first time, cellphones, are being bombarded with sales pitches.

The "Do Not Call" list is managed by Canada's telecommunications regulator, the CRTC. The list has to be given to the telemarketers so they know who not to call. But a Global News investigation shows it's easy for anyone to get their hands on the list and use it for the wrong reasons.

It took Global News less than 10 minutes on the CRTC's website to register as a telemarketer using fake information and a $50 service fee. The fee gave us access to the list for the 416 area code and 600,000 numbers.

It is so easy to access that offshore telemarketers are believed to be using it as a database of people to call. They can get away with it because they're not bound by Canadian laws.

I probably shouldn't say this, but... Hah! That's what happens when people decide that they need the power of the state (and a new government bureaucracy) to protect them from minor annoyances.

Personally, I'll stick to my tried-and-true method for getting rid of telemarketers:
Them: "Hello, I'm calling to offer you a low-interest credit card--"
Me: "Sorry, I'm not interested." *click*
No government intervention required.

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The CRTC couldn't manage a fuck-up in a whorehouse.

Why is anyone surprised the DNC list is a disaster ?
There is a very simple fix to the DNC problem, but the government will never do it.
1.- Make it illegal for the phone companies to provide any business account with a blocked callerid, and all telemarketers must have a caller ID beginning with TM-
2.- Enable all subscribers to block any call from a callerid beginning with TM

(I'd accept TMC for charity, TMP for polling company and TMB for business, then you could fine tune a bit)

3.-Allow subscribers to opt into specific TM-???? callerids if they're willing to accept calls

This would be close to 100% successful, unless telemarketers start calling from home, and paying residential long distance rates. All the technology to do this automatically is in place right now.

The phone companies will fight it though because it would kill all the long-distance revenue from telemarketers.
I like my method better.
Gun owners I know tell me the same thing has happened to Canada's weapons registry: crooks in its Quebec ranks sell the addresses of special collections in Ontario to criminals (probably linked to Hell's Angels), who break into their homes to steal them.
The state leads the crooks to the best guns . . .
You expected something different? The CRTC is another one of those quasi-independent bureaucracies that, in an effort to continue their funding and sustain their empires, must come up with some program or other to justify their existence. No matter that the program is half thought-out or downright unnecessary so long as their budgets increase and more people can be shuffled to higher levels of make-work. That way, the more drones you have under you, the more you are insulated from the staff cutting that governments occasionally engage in as a sop to public outrage.
However, it did suck when I'd call from "Tim Hortons" and people would do that to me. Good thing donut companies are exempt!
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