TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: FTC Do Not Call List

Re: FTC Do Not Call List
16 Dec 2005 07:44:36 -0800

Mark Crispin wrote:

> The task of updating software on commodity PCs (which you refer to) is
> nothing compared to that of updating other clients, much less the
> servers. There's a whole world out there that you're apparently
> unaware exists, and not even Microsoft controls it.

That's true -- I know nothing of that "whole world" that makes the
Internet actually work. Unfortunately, when explanations are
provided, they are very technical and loaded with acronyms or buzz
words I don't understand.

> Furthermore, commodity software updates do not depend upon updates
> from other vendors. It would take many years (and I do mean *years*)
> for all of the vendors involved to agree upon the new design, new
> protocols, and set an update program in motion.

One of the problems with fraud and abuse is that it's hard to
calculate the total costs to society and then allocate those costs to
individuals. That is, if you get burned by fraud obviously you've
incurred considerable costs. But others -- like credit card
companies, ISPs, law enforcement, your banks, etc., -- also incur
costs, both direct writeoffs and staff time. Further, entities incur
preventative protection costs. Last is the lost profit from people
like myself who are afraid to participate in Internet commerce.

For example, most businesses must (or should) maintain adequate server
and transmission capacity to handle all the incoming spam to the
staff, anti-virus and spyware protection, etc. They say the cost of
all that in hardware, software, and staff time, is considerable.

It is entirely possible that the cost of redoing the Internet so it is
properly secured in the first place may result in such savings that it
is worth the effort.

> Just take a look at how long IPv6 has taken, and is likely to continue
> to take.

What is "IPv6"?

> Rather, email postage stamps are a *tax*. The ostensible purpose of
> the tax would be to pay the government to provide the service of
> policing email. As with other taxes, the services provided and the
> amount of the taxes you pay will be decided by the government.

The government can and will tax anything it can get its mitts on
unless the public violently objects. In my area, some advocate
replacing property taxes with income taxes saying that is more fair;
but it is strongly opposed since nobody believes the measure will be
"revenue neutral". That is, the people expect a new income tax BUT
property taxes won't go down.

Anyway, the government does wants to tax Internet transactions, and
they will find a way, regardless of whatever technology is used.

As an aside, one of the advantages of the old unified Bell System was
that the national network was managed by one entity (Bell) and
standards were issued for everyone (local and independent telephone
companies) to follow. As technology grew (inter-office signalling),
the standards evolved to meet them. In the 1960s, anonymous call
harassment became a problem and the technology of the day couldn't
deal with (it was very difficult to trace calls through automatic
switches), but subsequent technology and standards allowed for that.
Call-Trace (*57) has put a lot of people in jail. When outsiders used
'blue boxes', new signalling measures were devised.

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