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Re: OT? www.donotcall.gov problem

"Paul E Condon" <pecondon@peakpeak.com> writes:
> Yesterday, I attempted to use the new federal (USA) web site for
> registering my telephone numbers in the 'do not call' database. I did
> not succeed, and I am wondering what is wrong. Let me describe my
> experience:
> The web site displays a form on which I am requested to fill in the
> telephone numbers that I want added to the list, AND a space where I
> am to enter my email address. I followed the instructions. I entered
> three telephone #s, and one of my four email addresses. In a few
> seconds, three emails arrived in my inbox. Each of them, requested
> that I click on a hotlink to visit a web site that would complete
> the registration process. I did this for each email. 
> In all three cases there was an almost immediate response that the
> data was incorrect, and no indication as to how I might make it 
> correct. I am using Galeon web browser and mutt MUA. Does gov 
> require Windoze software on my computer? Has anyone succeeded in
> registering with a Debian machine? 

I saw the same thing when I didn't paste the link in the email
correctly. I use emacs+gnus for email and when I selected the link in
the email, via X's selection mechanism, it included the "\" character,
which is used in emacs to indicate a line wrap. After I removed that
character from the link I had pasted into Galeon I was able to
register all three of the phone #'s I requested. So, perhaps you
didn't paste the link correctly.

> I did succeed in registering by using the telephone and calling
> 1-888-382-1222.
> When I did this, the hardware of the telephone system was able to
> verify that I was calling from the telephone instrument that I
> was registering. But I have a question about this process:
> I was required to enter the telephone # manually, and then my
> manual entry was checked against what the hardware said. Why?
> Why not just have the hardware grab the telephone # and put it
> into the database?

Perhaps you can register numbers other than the one you're calling
from, with some other type of verifaction? Dunno. You'd really have to
ask them.

> And what relation does my email address have to my telephone #?  What
> are they checking in my email that has any relation to my telephone?
> (Yes, I use ppp to my ISP, but surely they can't query the ISP server
> to find out which telephone I'm using to call the ISP, and surely it
> should be possible to register if ones internet connection is entirely
> independent of ones telephone service. ???) 

It's probably just another traceability issue. I'm sure the
tele-marketing industry was able to at least convince the FTC to have
some means to verify that you actually signed up for the DNC list and
just didn't sign up every number in your local phone book for the
list. What's to stop someone from writing a little script to query
every number on record, via something like switchboard.com, and
entering all the numbers into the database? The tele-marketers
probably wanted some way to ensure that this didn't happen and so the
software probably has a check that disallows more than a certain
number of phone numbers from being registered via the same email
address. Again, you'd have to ask the government if you want anything
more than just guesses.


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