Monday, July 6, 2009

Caller ID Spoofing

Last week, a press release was issued by the makers of SpoofEm implying that Women's Resource Center and three other Georgia dv shelters endorse their telephone spoofing technology and use it in our safehouses. This is not true. Neither WRC nor the contacts we spoke with at any of the other shelters named use SpoofEm or any other telephone spoofing technology, and we have asked that they immediately cease the use of our name in their marketing.

Call spoofing technology can be extremely dangerous for women being stalked and, after a violent relationship ends, many women find that their former partners continue to harass them. When women attempt to screen their calls, call spoofing technology helps stalkers get through anyway by disguising the number. When women hope to file a Stalking Protective Order or criminal charges for harassment, call spoofing technology makes it harder because the women have no print record of constant calls from a number they can identify with their harasser. Call spoofing technology also makes it easier for stalkers to harass their victim at work, because it looks as if she is receiving calls from many different phone numbers. Some services even include voice change technology that can alter the voice, even helping male callers sound like women and vice versa.

In some circumstances, this technology could be useful for women on the run from their partners who are worried that family and friends may have their phones tapped, but those technologically savvy batterers are much more rare than those taking advantage of these products to harass and intimidate.

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